New USAID Initiative to Evaluate the Sustainability and Effectiveness of Climate Services in Africa

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Africa is highly vulnerable to climate variability and climate change.  When drought strikes and farmers are unprepared, food security and livelihoods suffer.  In Sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture contributes 14 percent of gross domestic product.

Rain-fed agriculture accounts for approximately 96 percent of the cropland, making agriculture particularly sensitive to weather and a changing climate. Between 2014 and 2016, roughly 220 million people — or 23 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population — were undernourished.

Providing timely and accurate climate and weather information has potential to improve agricultural production, food security and farmer livelihoods. While national meteorological and hydrological services in Sub-Saharan Africa may have qualified and dedicated staff, resources are generally insufficient to meet needs. But national climate services do not operate in isolation.

A network of public and private actors engages end users in the design of climate services to meet their decision-making needs. Improving collaboration among public and private actors offers potential to increase cost-effectiveness and utility of climate information services for rural end users.


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