Colombia is highly vulnerable to global warming and climate variability. Recent years have seen an increase in floods during the rainy season, while other areas faced continuous threats of drought. Both public and private actors have reason to worry about the economic ramifications of climate change on the agricultural sector; Colombian coffee farmers have already seen declines in production because of global warming. Until recently, farmer associations accessed climatic predictions based on regional data that were not specific to particular areas or crops, making the information less useful to farmers.
CIAT-CCAFS drove the establishment of six Technical Agroclimatic Committees (MTA, Mesas Técnicas Agroclimáticas) and developed underpinning science that enabled the widespread and sustained use of site-specific agro-climatic forecasts. Research outputs included agronomic practice manuals to accompany agronomic forecasts and capacity-building training in site-specific data collection and use.
Through the MTAs, local and national governments, farmers’ associations such as Fenalce, Fedearroz, FNC, and Cenicaña, and other participating institutions such as Corpoica and universities have institutionalized CIAT-CCAFS climate information into their decisionmaking. CIAT-CCAFS science and capacity building on crop modeling and seasonal climate prediction enabled national partners, notably Fedearroz and Fenalce, to analyze local conditions and produce and disseminate seasonal agro-climatic forecasts across maize- and rice-producing regions. CIAT-CCAFS scientists assessed information needs in Santander, Córdoba, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, and Meta, which has been key for delivering user-tailored services and identifying and inviting MTA participants.
What has changed?
CIAT-CCAFS agro-climatic prediction science has changed how agricultural sector organizations in Colombia generate and share climate variability adaptation recommendations. Through the MTAs, organizations from different segments of the agricultural sector discuss, share, and integrate knowledge to tackle climate variability in MTA regions. Information generated through the MTAs is distributed monthly in national and regional agro-climatic bulletins.
Regional MTAs operate sustainably and MTA participants continue monthly meetings to share forecasts now produced by their own teams. For example, Fedearroz and Fenalce now have teams producing, interpreting, and delivering monthly forecasts.