The State Agency for Meteorology in Spain (AEMET) and WMO have developed the METAGRI Project which provide Roving Seminars on Weather, Climate and Farmers for countries in West Africa (see background for more information).
In Phase I of METAGRI project, 8-10 roving seminars were organized in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal from Sep 2008 to Jan 2009. After a planning meeting in March 2009, Phase II of the METAGRI project was developed to organize an additional 3 roving seminars in the Phase I countries and 8-10 roving seminars in Benin, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guineé, Guineé-Bissau, and Togo from July to September 2009.
In October 2007, WMO organized a Conference of Directors of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of West Africa in Las Palmas, Spain. From this Las Palmas meeting, an action plan was developed with the objective to reinforce the NMHSs of the region and to provide agriculture was one of sectors identified as having the potential projects. Based on this meeting and subsequent discsussions, the State Agency for Meteorology in Spain (AEMET) funnded and WMO organized an Expert Meeting on Agrometeorology in the Service of West African Agriculture in Niamey, Niger in April 2008.
The purpose of the meeting was to develop projects in agrometeorology for the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal based on funding from AEMET. The main project discussed were Roving Seminars for Weather, Climate, and Farmers which aim to increase the interaction between the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and rural farmers. Also, focal points from the five countries were selected in July 2008 to liaise with AEMET and WMO in developing detailed proposals (dates, locations, logistics, etc) for organizing the seminars in their respective countries.
The content of the seminars are adapted to the local conditions of the country and regions. The Roving Seminars are of one-day duration and bring together farmers from a group of villages to a centralized location in any given region. Due to the success of a similar activity in Mali, that country has agreed to supply a total of 200 raingages to be distributed at each of the ten seminars (20 per seminar) that will be organized by each country. The focal point with assistance from Mali prepared agrometeorological advice that was used in conjunction with the raingauge.
Up to ten Roving Seminars on Weather, Climate and Farmers were organized in each of the following five countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal in West Africa.
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