The international Center for Tropic Agriculture (CIAT-Rwanda) in partnership with Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) through SPIU-IFAD Funded Projects on Behalf of PASP organized a 4 days of training on Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture. (PICSA)
The training took place in Kayonza district from 17th to 21th Sept 2018 where 81 Participants including 72 members from RYAF (Cooperative Support Offices) and 9 staff from PASP projects. The training was conducted by staff from Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture Projects and Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) SPIU-IFAD Funded projects on behalf of PASP who have developed and implemented PICSA in the country who are running the Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture project and collaborating with other key organizations including the Rwanda Meteorology Agency.
The primary purpose of the training was to increase the resilience of farmers to changing of the climate in Rwanda and improve climate risks management skills and hence agricultural productivity for Rwanda farmers, and to facilitate farmers to make agriculture decisions based on accurate localized specific climate and weather information and to train farmers on accessing and sharing climate wealth information.
A total of 91 participants attended a 4 days of workshop training and discussed on the twelve steps of the PICSA approach. On the last day of training, the participants worked with ABANYAMURA cooperative from Kayonza district in Nyamirama sector, to try out and gain hands on experience on the use of PICSA approach.
Chantal Uwamahoro president of ABANYAMURAVA cooperative said that before these trainings we used to have a big challenge of climate change affecting our crops but we believe that PICSA will contribute a lot to improve our livelihood as farmers toward increasing the production.
She mentioned that, what they learnt from the training on climate and weather forecast information through RYAF(Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness |Forum), it is a good package to the farmers and it will be put into practice and they will helps other farmers from different cooperatives to adapt the climate services for Agriculture.
Concluding his remarks at the training on Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture, Jean Baptiste Hategekimana, Chairman of RYAF Calls for participants to use these skills to transform agriculture sector in Rwanda and to help farmers to adapt the climate services for agriculture. “These skills build farmers’ capacities to make strong and rational decisions to adapt to climate change and mitigate to accompanying consequences. RYAF is much thankful and grateful to Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, RAB/SPIU IFAD Funded Projects/PASP and CIAT, we hope the skills will not improve on the side of farmers, but also ourselves as members who are engaged in agricultural businesses. We will continue this unparalleled collaboration even in other sub sectors of agricultural from primary technologies to postharvest and food market systems improvement”, RYAF Chairman said.
Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) is an approach that seeks to build resilience at the farm level by supporting decision-making through the integration of information on location-specific climate, crops, livestock, and livelihoods. It emphasizes practical hands-on methods that can easily be used and understood by farmers by integrating livelihood alternatives to those on-farm. PICSA is led by the University of Reading (UoR) based in the UK, and has been supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). More than 2,600 farmers have been trained in the first year rolling out PICSA in Rwanda. Farmers find the different elements of the PICSA approach useful and are using them in their decision-making processes, namely (e.g. historical climate information [99%], participatory budgets, and seasonal forecast. As a result of the PICSA training and the information shared, the vast majority of those farmers are making changes in their crops, livestock, and/or livelihood enterprises. Farmers are sharing the different PICSA tools and information with their peers.