Publication Abstracts

Phillips et al. 2001

Phillips, J.G., E. Makaudze, and L. Unganai, 2001: Current and potential use of climate forecasts for resource-poor farmers in Zimbabwe. In Impacts of El Niño and Climate Variability on Agriculture. C. Rosenzweig, Ed., ASA Special Publications, vol. 63, ASA, CSSA and SSSA, pp. 87-100, doi:10.2134/asaspecpub63.ch6.

Due, in part to improved understanding of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), seasonal climate forecasts are now being disseminated in southern Africa with the assumption that the information is useful in farm management. In this study, we attempt to identify opportunities and constraints related to the use of these forecasts through a series of farm surveys being conducted in the communal farm sector in Zimbabwe over a 3-yr period. Results of the first year of the survey are presented here. Almost all farmers surveyed use their own indigenous forecasts, and predictions for 1997/1998 generally agreed with the official forecast, particularly in the drier agro-ecological zones. Belief in the official forecast, and confirmation that the seasonal outcome was perceived as correct, was also highest in the drier zones. Even with an expectation of drier than normal conditions, however, most farmers did not act on the information, saying they would have used alternative strategies had they had ?better information? before the season began, indicating a potential credibility problem. The type of information most often cited as useful was a general overview of the season, including when the season would begin and whether rains would be adequate. Farmers said that advance climate information would be most useful in deciding which crops and cultivars to plant and in knowing when to plant. Given the lack of flexibility most farmers face in time of planting as a result of limited draft power, ensuring access to improved seed varieties may be the most successful avenue for programs designed to improve the use of seasonal forecasts in farm management in Zimbabwe.

Export citation: [ BibTeX ] [ RIS ]

BibTeX Citation

  author={Phillips, J. G. and Makaudze, E. and Unganai, L.},
  editor={Rosenzweig, C.},
  title={Current and potential use of climate forecasts for resource-poor farmers in Zimbabwe},
  booktitle={Impacts of El Niño and Climate Variability on Agriculture},
  publisher={ASA, CSSA and SSSA},
  series={ASA Special Publications},

[ Close ]

RIS Citation

ID  - ph01100l
AU  - Phillips, J. G.
AU  - Makaudze, E.
AU  - Unganai, L.
ED  - Rosenzweig, C.
PY  - 2001
TI  - Current and potential use of climate forecasts for resource-poor farmers in Zimbabwe
BT  - Impacts of El Niño and Climate Variability on Agriculture
T3  - ASA Special Publications
VL  - 63
SP  - 87
EP  - 100
DO  - 10.2134/asaspecpub63.ch6
ER  -

[ Close ]

• Return to 2001 Publications

• Return to Publications Homepage