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ERIC Number: EJ996431
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-1389-224X
The Use of Rainfall Forecasts as a Decision Guide for Small-Scale Farming in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Moeletsi, M. E.; Mellaart, E. A. R.; Mpandeli, N. S.; Hamandawana, H.
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, v19 n2 p133-145 2013
Purpose: New innovative ways of communicating agrometeorological information are needed to help farmers, especially subsistence/small-scale farmers, to cope with the high climate variability experienced in most parts of southern Africa. Design/methodology/approach: The article introduces an early warning system for farmers. It utilizes short messaging system (SMS) to convey weather information and basic agronomic advice to 12 small-scale farmers in Makhado Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa. This case study demonstrates the usefulness of incorporating weather information on day-to-day farm management activities. Coded rainfall forecasts for light (0-5mm), medium (5-20mm) and heavy rainfall (greater than 20mm) were distributed three times a week to individual farmers and extension officers. Accompanying the forecasts were possible agricultural activities for the week. Findings: Extensive training of the farmers and extension officers is a pre-requisite for full comprehension of the coded SMS early warning system. The recommendations on farming conditions are not always adhered to due to farmers' indigenous knowledge and other factors like access to labour. Practical implications: Weather and climate information distributed to farmers has the potential to add value to the farming methods employed, hence positively impacting on rural food security. Originality/value: The article demonstrates that agrometeorological information must be packaged in such a way as to assist farmers and should be disseminated timeously and appropriately to maximize its utility or adoption. (Contains 6 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa