Local, reliable and timely agro-climatic information: a requirement of Colombian farmers

Awareness of climatic information relevant for future decisions through climatic forecasts is not enough to support farmer’s decision-making. It is necessary to look for agricultural management alternatives that allow farmers to adapt to climatic conditions and implement efficient and sustainable management systems, within a framework of effective communication with farmers (Jones, 2003; Pulwarty et al., 2003). In Latin America are very few the initiatives related to climatic forecasts. The Project “Agroclimatic services and food security information for improved decision-making – AgroClimas” aims to support private and public sector actors in Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras to implement and use agro-climatic risk management tools, validated and adjusted to the needs of final users.

This info note presents results from a mapping of actors and agro-climatic information needs in crops important for food security (maize and bush beans), in pilot sites of the project in Colombia. The hypothesis underlying the study is that through mapping actors who transmit information (climatic, prices, technical and financial) to farmers, knowing if this information is considered reliable, identifying unattended information needs and preferred formats to receive it that would support production decisions, one can devise useful, relevant, reliable, sustainable applicable solutions.