EGU2020-22514, updated on 11 Aug 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22514
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Success of the co-production and delivery of local and scientific weather forecasts information with and for smallholder farmers in Ghana

Talardia Gbangou1, Rebecca Sarku2, Erik Vanslobbe1, Fulco Ludwig1, Gordana Kranjac-Berisavljevic3, Spyridon Paparrizos1, and Art Dewulf2
Talardia Gbangou et al.
  • 1Water System and Global Change Group, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 3 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 2Public Administration and Policy Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1 6706 KN Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 3UDS International, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana

Many West African farmers struggle to cope with changing weather and climatic conditions that keep them from making optimal decisions and meeting food and income security. The development of more accessible and credible weather and climate services (WCIS) can help local farmers improve their adaptive capacity. Such adequate WCIS often requires a joined collaboration between farmers and scientists to co-create an integrated local and scientific forecasting knowledge. We examine (i) the design requirements (i.e. Both technical and non-technical tools) and (ii) evaluate the outcomes of a successful implementation of the co-production and delivery of WCIS in Ada East district, Ghana. We implemented a user-driven design approach in a citizen science experiment involving prototype design and testing, training workshops, and interviews with farmers, agricultural and meteorological extension agents from 2018 to 2019. Farmers were handed with digital tools (i.e. Smart phones with web and mobile applications) and rain gauges as research instruments to collect and receive weather forecast data, and interact with scientists.

               Our results show that farmers’ engagement increased over time and is associated with the trainings and the improvement of the design features of the applications used. The evaluation shows an increase in the usability of tools, the reach or networking with other farmers, and the understanding of uncertainty (probabilistic) aspect of the forecasts over time. Local farmers evaluated both the local and scientific forecasts as accurate enough and useful for their daily farming decisions. We concluded that using modern technology in a co-production process, with targeted training, can improve the access and use of weather forecasts information.

How to cite: Gbangou, T., Sarku, R., Vanslobbe, E., Ludwig, F., Kranjac-Berisavljevic, G., Paparrizos, S., and Dewulf, A.: Success of the co-production and delivery of local and scientific weather forecasts information with and for smallholder farmers in Ghana, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22514, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22514, 2020

How to cite: Gbangou, T., Sarku, R., Vanslobbe, E., Ludwig, F., Kranjac-Berisavljevic, G., Paparrizos, S., and Dewulf, A.: Success of the co-production and delivery of local and scientific weather forecasts information with and for smallholder farmers in Ghana, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22514, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22514, 2020

Comments on the presentation

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Presentation version 2 – uploaded on 07 May 2020
Moved appendix slides into results section in response to the chat comments
  • CC1: Can you speak about transferability of these applications? , Jessica McCarty, 08 May 2020

    Very interesting and important work. Sorry I missed the chat display. 

    Can you describe generally your smallholder farmers characteristics a bit more - like average land holdings, filed sizes, farm labor (do they hire laborers or perform all work with in family), and age/gender? I see a previous comment clarifies that this project gave internet-connected smartphones to the farmers. Is that correct? How scalable and transferable is this beyond the Accra metro region to more arid and/or rural locations in the north of Ghana? 

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Talardia Gbangou, 09 May 2020
      Thank you for your question. Indeed, the demographic characteristics (age, gender, education level) of the particiapnts are shown on Fig. 4 of the presentation. Other details on farmers land holding, farm sizes, etc.. were also collected.
      Yes indeed, for the co-production experiment, we provided farmers with connected-smartphones to collect data remotely and exchange. We focus on peri-urban area within the greater accra area and the internet coverage was one of the reasons for the study area selection. It is true that even in the peri-urban area the network coverage was still challenging for some remote communities. Aside that, the approach and applications can be applied and used anywhere in Ghana or other regions. The indicators for local or traditional forecasts may also differ from one region or community to the other and may need to be explored and adjusted to the location.
      Considering the fast growing of internet coverage in Ghana and in other West African countries, this could soon be possible in many rural locations.
Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 28 Apr 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-22514, Hervé Kerdiles, 05 May 2020

    Your presentation shows clearly increasing interest of farmers in the digital tools for weather monitoring and forecasting but I did not understand what digital tools have been provided to farmers and how farmers co-produce weather forecast.

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Talardia Gbangou, 05 May 2020
      Thank you for your comment. The digital and rain monitoring tools provided to farmers are mainly : connected (internet) smartphones,  a WeatherApp for collecting local or traditional forecasts and data (rainfall), a WhatsApp for the sharing of both local and scientific forecasts and interactions, and manuel rain gauges for recording data. You can see some captions of examples and design characteristics on Appendix 1 and 2 of the presentation.
       
      Hence, during the testing phase, farmers could remotely provide their local forecasts and data (based their  long term experience in observing atmospheric patterns like clouds, wind, halo, faune and flora indicators, etc.)  and also received scientific forecasts (i.e. from national forecasts or meteoblue) via the apps. More details on how these forecasts, especially local forecasts are processed and verified are described different research article under review.
       
      I hope I have answered your question
    • CC2: Reply to CC1, Spyridon Paparrizos, 06 May 2020

      Dear Hervé,

      On top of what Talardia Gbangou mentioned in his comment, I invite you to see the presentation on the WATERAPPS project (https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2020/EGU2020-5712.html) where besides showing the digital tools that were implemented during the field activities in Ghana, we also present the resulting output product, the FarmerSupport APP.

      FarmerSupport APP, an output product of the research that was conducted within the WATERAPPS project is a hydro-climatic information service platform built to provide farmers in urbanizing deltas of the world location and time-specific weather information which is tailor-made to their agricultural decisions to intensify and improve crop production and simultaneously increase their adaptive capacity. The APP incorporates local (LFK) and scientific forecast knowledge (SFK), and it also provides a hybrid forecast from the combination of LFK and SFK.

      Cheers,

      Spyros