WMO reviews West Africa connection project

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The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) detailed the progress of its four-year project Wednesday to help farmers in West Africa utilize meteorological tools to assist in farming operations.

The MetAgri Operational project consisted of seminars that had participation from approximately 10,600 farmers between 2012 and 2015. A total of 17 countries were represented through this project in the form of participating National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, agricultural extension workers and farmers.

The final workshop of the project occurred between Nov. 23 and Nov. 25, and participants discussed the challenges and successes of the program and what was learned over the course of the program.

During this workshop, it was noted that a balanced representation of gender was needed and that approximately 13 percent of seminar participants were women across all participating countries on average; however, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde reported higher percentages of female participation, with 28 and 35 percent, respectively.

Preliminary results from a pilot study involving four countries were also discussed. This study indicated early benefits from the decisions made by farmers, including the utilization of forecasts to inform what seeds to use in planting and how this information could allow less weeding operations.

Through this project the WMO supplied West African farmers with approximately 4,500 rain gauges.

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World Meteorological Organization Geneva, Switzerland

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