Aclímate Colombia (Acclimatize Colombia), a new light for Colombian farmers

Aclímate Colombia, nueva luz para los agricultores colombianos

For the purpose of helping Colombian farmers be more prepared to face new climate patterns and adapt better to climate variability, CIAT, through its area of research in Decision and Policy Analysis (DAPA), trained the agro-climatology and systems teams from the National Federation of Rice Growers (Fedearroz) and from the National Federation of Cereal and Legume Growers (Fenalce) in the use of the platform: “Pronósticos Aclimate Colombia” (Acclimatize Colombia forecasts).

The design of this platform is one of the initiatives of the project, “Climate Services for Resilient Development – Colombia,” (funded by USAID and part of a global effort –, in which work is being done for the evaluation and improvement of forecasting methods and tools so that farmers may make better decisions about when to plant, what varieties to plant, or even, whether to plant their crops, and thus be better prepared to face the climate.

The tool in question provides a reliable climate information service to the associations, making it easy to access agro climate information, in a precise and timely manner. Using the tool, one can work with themes such as the capture, analysis, and interpretation of data coming from the meteorological stations from IDEAM (a strategic project partner), as well as the configuration of climate forecasting models. Based on historical information and climate forecasting models, the platform makes it possible to find out the conditions of temperature and rainfall in the months to come.

At the same time, they can enter varieties that are being grown in the country, to thus obtain relevant predictions about the productive reality of the various regions of the country. This will make it possible, as a last resort, to connect the climate predictions with the crop simulation models, which will provide more contextualized information to the producers.

The co-leader of the Project at CIAT, Julián Ramírez Villegas, climate impact scientist, added that “the platform will serve so that the Colombian agricultural sector is better prepared to confront climate variations. It will be a lighthouse for farmers so that the information they obtain will help them make better production decisions.”

Likewise, he assured us that CIAT’s role in all this process will be to work closely with the producer organizations to understand their priorities, and later, to structure the information necessary to address these priorities. This is the example of the “Pronósticos Aclimate Colombia” platform.