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Access, Uptake, Use and Impacts of Agrometeorological Services in Sahelian Rural Areas: The Case of Burkina Faso

Tarchiani V, Coulibaly H, Baki G, Sia C, Burrone S, Nikiema PM, Migraine J-B, Camacho J. Access
Published in: Agronomy 2021, 11, 2431
Date: November 29, 2021


Agrometeorological services, as part of weather and climate services, are expected to play a key role in supporting sub-Saharan agriculture facing climate change and variability. In the Sahel, smallholder farmers relying on rainfed crop production systems are particularly vulnerable to climate change and variability because of low resilience and coping capacity. The provision of agrometeorological services is growing across Africa, but they often remain inaccessible for the majority of smallholder farmers or are not very relevant to support on-the-ground decision-making. Our work aims to demonstrate the hypothesis that agrometeorological services can effectively improve agricultural productivity and sustainability provided that appropriate mechanisms are put in place to ensure access, uptake and action. The paper illustrates the case study of Burkina Faso, where the National Meteorological Service, with the support of the World Meteorological Organization, engaged in the provision of accessible, reliable and relevant agrometeorological services for farmers. The study demonstrates that farmers, even in remote rural areas, are willing to profit from weather and climate services for strategic and tactical decisions in agricultural management because of relevant economic benefits. These benefits can be summarized as a 40% reduction in production costs and a 41% increase in income. Results also highlight positive environmental impacts such as the reduction by 50% in the use of fertilizers. Nevertheless, the study concludes that in order to scale up weather and climate services in West Africa, a new business model released from the development projects approach should be explored.