Weather Forecasting Impacts Crop Strategies

The value and benefits of using seasonal climate forecasts in agriculture: evidence from cowpea and sesame sectors in climate-smart villages of Burkina Faso

Key messages.
Farmers with access to seasonal and daily weather forecasting change their cropping strategies as well as their labour schedule.
- Climate-informed cowpea farmers have greater yields and gross margins. 
- Gains were less significant for sesame production. Further data collection during 2015 season may clarify this difference.
- Farmers are ready to pay a significant amount for climate forecast information.
- Large-scale dissemination of climate information can be a climate-smart investment if done in a cautious and proper manner.

Farmers exposed to climate information changed their farm practices based on the information they received, and that this translated into better management of inputs to increase their farm productivity and improve their resilience to climate variability. The fact that the effect of climate information on sesame production was not statistically significant illustrates how the impact of climate information services is not straightforward and in some cases do not guarantee returns. This is because of the risk induced by climate variability in Sahel, and also the fact that yields and crop incomes depend on many other factors (e.g. quality of inputs). Promoting climate forecast services cannot be disconnected with other climate-smart tools, including crop insurance so that farmers stay resilient while trying to gain productivity. Crop insurance helps protect farmers against unforeseen climate shocks (e.g. extreme drought) while seasonal forecasts allow farmers to mitigate predictable climate risks.

Finally, the higher seasonal forecasts are predicted exactly, the better ideas environment for seeds growing. 

Source refferd from ICRISAT

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