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ICTs For Small-Scale Farmers: A Game Changing Approach to Climate Smart Agriculture in Latin America

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The UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) is hosted by the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and presided over by Fiji; signaling the return of climate change to the international agenda.

This meeting comes just in time when the world is seeing climate induced catastrophies in many parts of the world. At this UN Climate Change Conference, nations will meet to advance the aims of the Paris Agreement and measure progress of its implementation guidelines.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is representing as a leader of the Marrakech Partnership thematic events on Agriculture and Oceans, see FAO's involvement here.

In the debate on climate change, what can we find regarding ICTs and Climate issues? The UNFCCC has published an interesting case study of small farmers and climate smart agriculture in Latin America.


Case Study: ICTs For Small-Scale Farmers: A Game Changing Approach to Climate Smart Agriculture in Latin America | Colombia and Honduras 1

In Colombia and Hondurus, there is partnership between the International Centeror Tropical Agriculture, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate, Agriculture and Food Security and more than 10 partners including the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Honduran Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock have developed a suite of ICT tools and applications to help farmers in Colombia and Honduras make climate-smart decisions.

Key facts of the case

  • More than 10 public and private organizations from Colombia and Honduras are participating in the project;;
  • About 300,000 farmers, mostly growing maize, beans, rice, fruit trees and coffee, are being reached with climate and/or crop management information;
  • In each country, partners produce ten or more monthly bulletins related to agro-climatic conditions or food security

The problem

Farming communities rarely have access to up-to-date weather and climate information, which hinders their ability to practice climate-smart agriculture. Extreme weather events or interannual variations in rainfall and temperature can result in reduced yields or even the destruction of crops, affecting farmers’ incomes and livelihoods. Unsustainable agricultural practices compound the problem by reducing in soil fertility and the soils’ capacity to retain water, contributing to soil erosion. This can drive ecosystem degradation and habitat loss, with a resulting loss of biodiversity

The Tools developed

"The tools and applications enable technicians from farmer organizations to collect, analyze, and deliver information that allow farmers to understand variations in seasonal climate conditions, and thus adjust their management practices to cope with them. Guided by this information, farmers now know whether to plant, when to plant and specifically which crops or crop varieties to plant. In addition, they have site-specific information on how much water and agrochemicals to use. This increases agricultural productivity, food and income security, and allows for more sustainable farming" reports the UNFCC Website

More information of this case here 

1The text used to describe this case is as adapted from the UNFCCC website, all copyright belongs to them

 

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