The proposed initiative aims at using already existing farmer structure as frameworks in increasing farmer access to and use of climate information for resilience building in an effort to increase agriculture production. Farmers in the region of SOFDI coverage rely largely on rain fed agriculture as their main livelihood therefore the current adverse variability in climate have increased farmers vulnerability owing to reduced production which has had dire consequences on household security nutritional status and overall well-being of households.
Both Vihiga and Kakamega Counties have identified climate change as one of the factors contributing to reduced food production in the 2 counties. Over the years rainfall patterns with regard to amounts onset and cessation distribution over time and space have drastically shifted from the farmers have known to an extremely unpredictable case. Lack of information for a good understanding of the changing rain fall patterns and other weather elements that are of significance to farming have continued to diminish returns from farming a key livelihood option for these communities. Currently there is reasonably quality amount of information on weather whose end user and ultimate beneficiary ought to be the farmers. Unfortunately for reasons ranging from language barriers| low literacy levels| highly technical content of the information and lack of tools/medium for information dissemination the farmers hardly access properly interpret and use this information. Therefore this initiative responds to Tekeleza in the sense that it aims to incorporate climate information services within already existing farmer level structures and extension system in building capacity among the farmers for increased demand for climate information and most importantly reducing the gap between the suppliers/source of information and end users through strengthening of collaboration.
The initiative aims at:
(1) Training SOFDI staff and Agriculture officers and cascading this capacity to the farmers through Lead Farmers;
(2) working with 4 K Clubs in Schools
(3) working with the Ministry of agriculture and Met departments to develop agriculture advisory /reference guide and farmer training curriculum on weather
(4) setting up a bulk SMS system for dissemination of Weather forecast and accompanying advisories
(5) In collaboration with vernacular radio stations, Ministry of Agriculture and Met department conduct seasonal weather forecast awareness
(6) translation of weather information into local language.
One hundred Lead farmers have been given phones which will facilitate delivery of SMS forecasts to this group that is charged with the responsibility of building farmer capacity in interpretation and utilization of periodic forecasts.
Target Counties: Kakamega Vihiga
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