To respond to the overriding challenge of increasing the adaptation capacity of the Guatemalan agricultural sector to climate variability, CIAT, in cooperation with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and Bioversity International, implemented the Agro-climate Services and Food Security Information Project for better decision making (AgroClimas) to manage local climate information.

AgroClimas aims to close the gap between agro-climate information generation and its use by farmers.

“Poor rainfall is increasingly evident in several Guatemalan regions. The extended heat wave (30–40 days without rain) is causing significant crop losses in the southern and eastern regions of the country (85% loss). One of the regions most affected by this situation is Chiquimula, where we called an extraordinary meeting of the Local Technical Agroclimatic Committee (LTAC) on 23 July, to create an agroclimatic bulletin with updated information on the impacts of the situation on the maize and bean crops”, added Diana Giraldo, CIAT’s  lead researcher for the project.

Similarly, under the Climate Services for Resilient Development program (CSRD) funded by USAID, historical analyses, monitoring, and the implementation of agro-climate services are being conducted in Guatemala in coordination with AgroClimas, to help farmers adapt to the impacts of climate variability.

CIAT, CCAFS, and Bioversity are implementing a work plan to improve climate information in the central and eastern regions of the country. This work is being developed in collaboration with the national weather service INSIVUMEH, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), along with the 16 institutions taking part in the Local Technical Agroclimatic Committee (LTAC).

Giraldo states that “with the local information provided and interpreted by the project in addition to the extension services from the Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees (LTACs), farmers will be better prepared for extreme events in Guatemala”. The research conducted by the project will be able to measure the changes in the access to climate information, food security, and evidence on the use of information.

For further information on the project in Guatemala, please contact Diana Giraldo, Project Leader, at d.giraldo@cgiar.org or Julián Ramírez-Villegas, Climate Impacts Scientist and Co-leader of the project J.R.Villegas@cgiar.org.

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