WMO Trains West African Farmers on Use of Weather/Climate Information

WMO12 October 2011: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has completed a four-year project across 15 West African countries that carried out 146 roving seminars to increase the interactions between national meteorological and hydrological institutes and rural farms.

The METAGRI project focused on training to increase awareness of weather and climate risk management, and the use of weather and climate information and services to improve agricultural production.

The project scaled up an approach that had been carried out in Mali over the past two decades. Monitoring of the Mali programme demonstrated increased crop yields of 20%-25%. Over its four years duration, METAGRI trained over 7,000 individuals, including rural 5700 farmers through roving one to two-day seminars. The trainings engaged both rural farmers and the national meteorological services of participating countries.

Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General, indicated that the experience of METAGRI will provide guidance for elements of the Global Framework for Climate Services, "which is meant to increase the availability and relevance of climate information needed by people to plan ahead in a changing and increasingly variable climate.”

Countries in the METAGRI Project include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d´Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. The WMO has provided similar roving seminars in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India and Sri Lanka. Funding for the project was provided by the Spanish State Agency for Meteorology. [WMO Press Release]