Effects of seasonal climate forecasts and participatory workshops among subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe (Patt, Anthony / Suarez, Pablo / Gwata, Chiedza)

Several countries communicate forecasts to subsistence farmers, which could allow them to mitigate the effects of drought on their harvests by adapting their cropping decisions accordingly. However, it has not been demonstrated that subsistence farmers benefit from having access to the forecasts. Here we present evidence of subsistence farmers using the forecasts over multiple years to make different decisions and significantly improving their harvests when they do so. In a controlled study, farmers in Zimbabwe who reported adapting their farming methods to seasonal climate forecasts significantly improved their harvests over baseline amounts. Moreover, farmers who had attended a brief workshop and learned more about the forecasts were significantly more likely to use the forecasts than were farmers who learned of the forecasts through nonparticipatory channels.

Weblink: http://www.pnas.org/content/102/35/12623.full.pdf

 

Created Date: 04-11-2015
Last Updated Date: 30-11-2015
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