Climate Information Use by Farmers
A Case of Smallholder Rice Farmers in Vulnerable Communities in the Philippines
How farmers integrate climate information into their decision-making process and the outcomes of such use are less understood. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted with rice farmers in vulnerable communities in the Philippines. Results showed that participants experienced such climate extremes as floods, droughts, and typhoons. They obtained weather forecasts from the mass media, including radio and television, and seasonal climate forecasts from the agro-meteorological offices set up by the local government units. They used climate information to develop their planting calendar, decide the variety to sow, and decide whether to grow rice or other crops. Use of climate information resulted in farmers gaining confidence in their farm decision, maximizing output from alternative crops, and maximising the use of time and resources. Farmers who did not follow the climate advisory experienced crop failure and psychological discomfort. Results showed that the use of climate information enable farmers to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Findings also highlight the need for interventions to enable more farmers to use climate information and adapt to the changing climate.