Greetings, All. Welcome to Week 3 of this interaction. My name is Steven Prager. I am senior scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture based in Cali, Colombia. We also have major regional offices in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Nairobi, Kenya.
Here at CIAT, I lead a portfolio of projects that include a number of activities related to climate information services. CIAT was the home for the Colombia and LAC regional component of the CSRD project (see: http://cs4rd.org/). We also have a new set of projects called "AgMetGaps".
The question for this week from our forum organizers is:
Due to climate uncertainty farmers and rural communities have come to rely less on traditional coping strategies. As such they have come to depend on Weather and Climate information services to lessen their vulnerabilities by informing themselves on when to plant, how much fertilizer to apply, and when or where to irrigate.
1) Do farmers, people at rural level, grassroots levels have adequate access to existing climate information and services?
2) What factors influence access?
As with the rest of the conversation, this is a complex set of questions with a complex series of answers. I will ask for you all to lead the dialog and I will interject with some insights gained from past and ongoing projects. One key item I would ask you to consider as you move forward, however, are "farmers" and "people at the rural level" a homogeneous group? If not, how might this change the way we think about this question.