Accessibility links

REPORT: Use of Seasonal Forecast Information in Farm Level Decision Making in Bundelkhand, India

Improving agricultural outcomes is an important means of addressing global poverty. The uncertainty of climate variability has a large influence over agricultural productivity. It can produce extreme climatic events such as floods or droughts that can significantly damage crop yields resulting in loss of livelihood and food security for small-scale farmers around the world. Additionally, farmers make farming decisions that reduce the risk of negative impacts resulting from climatic extremes but at the expense of increased yields and profits in advantageous climatic conditions. Seasonal forecast information (SFI) is one tool that can be used to address this issue by reducing the uncertainty of future climatic conditions. Many small-scale farmers, however, do not fully utilize such information when it is available. Research suggests that the effective use of SFI exists in a knowledge-action system where deficiencies in its various components may inhibit forecast use. These components include forecast dissemination, demand, acceptance (including salience, credibility, and legitimacy), understanding, and action capacity.

This brief, Use of Seasonal Forecast Information in Farm Level Decision Making in Bundelkhand, India, examines these components and how they relate to the use (or nonuse) of monsoon forecast information in Bundelkhand, India, through the use of a ground-level questionnaire. Overall, it finds significant associations between dissemination, salience, and action capacity with the use of monsoon forecast information. The findings suggest that these issues need to be addressed in order to increase forecast usage in the study area.

This paper is part of the CDKN-funded project, Shubh Kal (a better future): from information to knowledge and action which has successfully piloted a communication model to bridge the communication gap between communities, scientists and government officials. The project aimed to strengthen community knowledge and voice on climate change impacts and adaptation, by exploring community radio as a medium for disseminating climate change messages and sharing farming communities’ experiences of adapting to climate change.

Further reading:

Project homepage: Shubh Kal (a better future): from information to knowledge and action
Research paper: Addressing the information and knowledge needs of farmers to enable climate change adaptation – A study of Bundelkhand region in Central India
Research paper: Community Grassroots and Climate Change Communication: Mapping Grassroots Experiences of the ‘Shubh Kal’ Project in Bundelkhand, Central India