Philippine Standard time

Corn Farmers` Decisionmaking Based on Seasonal Climate Forecasts

Although our ability to predict climate conditions has improved significantly, farmers` use of climate information and forecasts in farming decisions and practices has changed a little. Part of the reasons is the lack of communication of innovations like the seasonal climate forecasts (SCFs). Today, efforts are being initiated to motivate farmers to integrate SCF into their farm decisionmaking. This study was conducted to serve as basis in designing a communication campaign on SCF. Data were gathered in Malaybalay, Bukidnon through focus group discussions, decisionmaking workshops, and interviews with farmers cultivating at least a hectare of corn. In the decisionmaking workshop, farmers were asked to assume hypothetical situations, given a climate forecast for the current years` cropping season, and requested to decide their farming activities based on the climate forecasts. Results showed the popularity of SCF among the farmers. However, farmers depended more on their indigenous climate forecasting than on the SCF. Farmers considered climate forecasts as nonprobabilistic and said that they find it difficult to understand these forecasts. For better understanding, they suggested that climate forecasts use simple words and be downscaled to their locality. Utilizing description-based decisions, their decisions were aimed at maximizing profits and minimizing cost.


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