Colombia continues to move towards adopting agricultural practices to reduce risks and maximize productivity under climatic variability. Farmers need guidance and best practices to choose crop varieties that perform better under future climate scenarios and are best suited to their areas.
CIAT/CCAFS scientists provided support for mitigating climate risks to the Colombian agricultural sector. Agronet, a Colombian government website that reaches 500.000 farmers, now features information on climate-smart farming, and an Agroclimatic Bulletin published by CCAFS.
CIAT and the Colombian Corporation for Agricultural Research (CORPOICA) developed Climate-Site-Specific Management System (CSMS), a tool to evaluate how different crop varieties are likely to perform in specific locations in variable climatic conditions. CSMS helps determine for any location in Colombia, the factors that limit crop productivity. For example, the number of days and severity of frosts in a year or local climate and weather data over the long and short term.
CIAT/CCAFS presented the findings and weather data to Mesa Técnica Agroclimática, local technical agroclimatic committees. These committees include public institutions, producer associations, universities and the private sector. They aim to provide farmers with agroclimatic advice tailored to their needs.
What has changed?
Producer organizations are sharing agroclimatic advice with their members; including the Colombian National Federation of Rice Growers (FEDEARROZ) with 24000 members; the National Federation of Cereal and Grain Legume Growers (FENALCE) with 7000 members; the Colombian Association for Fruits and Vegetables (ASOHOFRUCOL) with 20 members; and the Foundation for Territorial Sustainable Agriculture (FUNDESOT) with 200 members.
Farmers and extension workers use the agroclimatic advice to select varieties best adapted to the farming zone. The seasonal forecasts help them to decide what to grow and where, and to estimate how much the most adapted varieties are likely to yield under forecast conditions. Government officials are using CCAFS training manuals to set up Mesa Técnica Agroclimática around the country.
Ana María Loboguerrero
CCAFS Latin America Regional Program Leader