In West Africa, millions of farmers are facing the effects of climate change.Insufficient and irregular rainfall, floods and soil degradation are weakening ecosystems, contributing to crop diseases and reduced yields – among the main causes of food insecurity.
The World Meteorological Organisation is empowering farmers to meet the challenges through innovative and practical METAGRI and METAGRI Operational projects - two schemes financed by Norway and Spain and implemented with the aid of the national meteorological services of 17 countries in West Africa
A new video released by WMO shows how the METAGRI projects provide targeted climate services through roving seminars to rural producers in a drive to make them less vulnerable to the vagaries of weather and climate.
More than 350 seminars have been organised in seven years, benefiting more than 14,000 farmers in West Africa, who in turn spread the knowledge among their communities. Around 7,200 rain gauges have been distributed so that farmers can measure the quantity of rainfall in their villages and close to their farms. This simple tool is an unaffordable luxury for many farmers in Africa.
The rain gauges help farmers to decide when and what kinds of seeds to plant; when to apply fertilisers or pesticides; and how to manage their livestock. Essentially, they can plan their activities on the basis of reliable rainfall information, which they provide themselves.
The video, in English and French, was released to coincide with WMO’s Annual Executive Council meeting. Council discussions will include how to improve weather and climate services to contribute to the global agenda on sustainable development, climate change and disaster risk reduction.