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Climate-Smart Agriculture Advisory Service


The Climate-Smart Agriculture Advisory Service (CSAAS) seeks to harness the power of information and communication technology (ICT) for the outscaling of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) technologies and climate-informed advisory services for rice, maize and wheat in South and South East Asia. ICT plays an increasingly important role in providing timely and farm-specific agricultural advisory services to farmers for more informed crop management decisions. Implemented in Vietnam, Bangladesh and in the Indian states of Bihar and Odisha, the CSAAS project targets around 500,000 households to benefit from its services.

CSAAS aims to expand the capabilities of the Rice Crop Manager (RCM), a web-based application available on smartphones developed by IRRI and its partners. Currently upscaled in many areas in the Philippines, the RCM enables agricultural extension staff to ensure sustainable productivity gains for poor rice farmers, through cost- effective crop management.

Historical climate data, planting dates and weather forecasts, obtained through partnerships with other projects, such as CSISA and the meteorological services of RIMES, are combined with location-specific crop management recommendations derived from current practices. The data received provide feedback to scientists to conduct of additional research. The developed cloud-based, mobile phone app increases farmers’ adaptive capacity to climate change by enabling them to adjust crop management, cropping systems, and postharvest operations for increased income and food security.

Project Activities

  • Develop and release the first version of a climate-informed agro-advisory service (CSAAS) for rice in Vietnam, India and Bangladesh
  • Evaluate and verify the effectiveness of recommendations given to male and female farmers through randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to better tailor the climate-informed agro-advisory service for the highly diverse rice-based production systems of the Mekong and Red River Deltas in Vietnam
  • Identify and facilitate public and private mechanisms and partnerships at national level for disseminating and sustaining use CSAAS in each country
  • Identify climate-smart management options and enhance the effectiveness of CSAAS for other cereals (maize and wheat) in collaboration with CIMMYT
  • Develop and roll out a “construction” manual and standard operating procedures for the replication of CSAAS beyond project end.

Expected outcomes

  • By 2016 in selected pilot areas in each country about 50,000 rice farmers receive farm and field- specific advice through the mediation of extension staff and mobile phones on optimal use of inputs and climate smart technologies, such as AWD and stress tolerant seed varieties
  • Farmers receive by SMS short range and extended weather forecasts and related agromet advisory
  • Extension departments providing the service to farmers access a web site with real-time information on the farmer gender and farm characteristics to ensure better targeted and more gender sensitive services
  • By 2017, CSAAS is endorsed by NARES of the different countries and partnerships are established with mobile phone-based communication networks to use CSAAS in deploying farming advice and reach 200,000 farmers
  • By the end of the project in 2019, 800,000 recommendations based on CSAAS are delivered by different public and private partnerships constellations
  • NARES update content and services toevolve CSAAS based on projects of, stakeholders and farmers demands.

Partners

  • Vietnam: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute (CLRRI), Soils and Fertilizers Research Institute (SFRI)
  • Bihar Agriculture University (BAU)Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology (OUAT)
  • Bangladesh: Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)