On January 23, the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), in partnership with the Jamaica Meteorological Service (JMS) and the University of Reading commenced a week-long Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) scoping and contextualization exercise in Kingston, Jamaica.
Supported by the Intra-ACP Climate Services and Related Applications (ClimSA) Programme, the exercise commenced with a scoping workshop for stakeholders that outlined the project, its aims, the PICSA participatory approach and its proposed adaptation and implementation in Jamaica. Following the workshop, meetings were held with the management and staff of the JMS, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries led by its Rural Agriculture Development Authority (RADA), Water Resources Authority (WRA), Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Jamaica 4-H Club, Agro Investment Corporation (AIC), farmers, and other stakeholders to gather information to support the development of the training component. Information collected from these meetings will form the basis for country specific PICSA training on efficient rain-fed management, irrigation and water conservation in farming which align to the water sector focus of the project in Jamaica.
The current mission is a precursor to the PICSA training session slated for February 27th to March 3rd, 2023. Through this training management and staff of the JMS, RADA, JAS, AIC, Jamaica 4-H Club, farmers, other stakeholders, and end-users in the agricultural sector will receive training in Climate Services to enhance agricultural extension practices and production for improved on-farm decision making.
PICSA, developed by the University of Reading, is a participatory approach that links climate services and agricultural extension. This approach bridges the gap between historical climate data and forecasts, and farmers’ knowledge of what works in their own context. PICSA uses a participatory planning approach to help farmers make informed decisions about their agricultural practices.
Support for the Caribbean Intra-ACP ClimSA Programme is provided by the global Intra-ACP ClimSA Programme, a six-year initiative funded by the European Union (EU). The programme aims to improve the production, access to and use of climate information, services, and applications to support evidence-based decision-making across African, Caribbean, and Pacific states.
Peter Dorward, Professor of Agricultural Systems at the University of Reading presents the PISCA approach and its proposed adaptation and implementation in Jamaica to stakeholders: