Analysing rainfall to help farmers adapt to climate change

Analysing rainfall to help farmers adapt to climate change

SNV is implementing a Climate Smart Agriculture project in Khammouane Province to test and pilot innovative tools and approaches that farmers can adapt in order to better respond to the effects and impacts of climate change on their rice cropping systems.

As part of the project strategy, SNV collaborates with development and research institutions in further identifying and determining approaches and strategies that work better on the ground. SNV in Lao PDR has recently partnered with Australia’s national science agency, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute of Lao PDR (NAFRI), to build community-level adaptive capacity of rice farmers in Khammouane Province to respond to increasing climate variability and change.

The organisations, SNV, CSIRO and NAFRI, will officially collaborate and plan to implement a rainwater visualiser tool and cropping advisory and dynamic cropping calendar tool in 10 pilot villages in two districts of Khammouane Province during the 2015 wet season. In each of the pilot villages, a rain gauge will be installed, and village heads will be organised to collect data on daily rainfall.  Once this data is collected, the rainfall patterns in selected villages will be analysed, and a visualizer tool developed to be shared with famers and used throughout the growing season.  To follow up the project, local partners in the communities will be trained in weather observations and the use of the rainfall visualiser tool.

More than half of the Lao population is involved in agriculture, and rural farmers are particularly vulnerable to changing weather conditions as a result of climate change.  The goals of this initiative are to help farmers understand the value of quantifying rainfall for decision-making throughout the growing season.  Using these tools, farmers will be able to adapt better to the pressures and changes on their cropping systems as a results of increasing climate variability.