The Local Technical Agroclimatic Committee (LTAC) approach was developed in 2015 to provide tailored climate information to farmers and since 2017 it has been scaled in Guatemala. In 2022, the LTACs have helped over 20,000 rural Guatemalan people to become more resilient in the face of climate change. Systematic co-design and improvement of Climate Information Service (CIS) dissemination mechanisms with stakeholders has enabled the co-production and dissemination of easy-to-understand local agroclimatic bulletins, which are now effectively used by farmers to inform their decisions.
Climate change has made it difficult for farmers in eastern Guatemala to make a living due to droughts, heavy rainfall, and unpredictable weather patterns. Many farmers have limited access to climate information and lack the skills to understand and use the information to become more resilient, leaving them vulnerable to the whims of the weather.
The LTAC concept is a CGIAR innovation that uses a participatory approach to deliver climate information throughout Guatemala. In the LTACs, a group of experts — including the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA), INSIVUMEH, UN agencies, CDRO, Association of Services and Socioeconomic Development of Chiquimula (ASEDECHI), ASORECH, ASOCUCH, academia, and other organizations — have been working since 2017 to provide tailored agroclimatic information to farmers in the country. The LTACs (or MTAs in Spanish) are co-producing, translating, and transferring this information to facilitate effective decision-making in agricultural activities.
“It is important to emphasize that in the LTACs, we work from the needs of the farmers and technicians. It is a process that is built step by step and jointly with partners. We refined the communications products and how we plan to strengthen the transfer of knowledge in the InnovaHubs that we are implementing in Guatemala.” – Carlos Navarro, Focal Point for Guatemala, CGIAR Initiative AgriLAC Resiliente
Building on the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, the CGIAR Initiative AgriLAC Resiliente aims to increase the resilience, sustainability, and competitiveness of Latin American and Caribbean agrifood systems and actors, has enhanced the dissemination mechanism for the LTACs to ensure that more segments of the rural population can benefit from local and tailored agroclimatic information.
Members of the LTACs develop and disseminate easy-to-understand seasonal (quarterly) agroclimatic bulletins to local stakeholders and farmers via a variety of digital and non-digital means. Additionally, the LTACs created new weather (i.e., 5- to 10-day) agrometeorological bulletins, which were disseminated through the LTAC social media groups.
The improvements in the LTACs at the local level promote a wider relationship with producers in the field through approaches such as the Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) methodology, directly reaching, for example, 2,000 people in 60 communities in eastern Guatemala, where CGIAR scientists are collaborating in a joint project with the World Food Programme liaising with AgriLAC. Finally, the LTACs are producing systematized radio spots with information bulletins broadcast throughout the eastern region, reaching more than 20,000 rural people in the region.
A monitoring and evaluation (M&E) strategy designed by CGIAR scientists, MAGA, and INSIVUMEH, among other stakeholders, has been put in place to assess success in the dissemination of climate services in eastern Guatemala by ensuring that the information provided is effective and reaches those who need it most, including vulnerable groups of women, youth, and indigenous populations. A M&E study carried out at the end of 2022 reported that more than 50% of participants from eastern Guatemala have implemented or suggested some of the recommendations from the agroclimatic bulletin, mainly for crop planning (e.g., planting date and varietal selection of maize and beans), as well as crop management (e.g., fertilization in cereals, shade in coffee, irrigation, and pest control in different crops) in relation to expected climate conditions. Results demonstrate that farmers have improved their resilience with better access to information that allows them to make informed decisions about their agricultural practices. The cyclical learning of the LTACs’ approach has enabled a constant improvement in the climate services dissemination strategy, which has ultimately benefited the farming community.
The LTACs’ action is an excellent example of how collaboration and a focus on community needs can lead to positive change. By co-producing and disseminating tailored information and engaging with stakeholders, the LTACs have made a real difference in the lives of farmers in eastern Guatemala. With continued support and investment, they can continue to help the region’s farmers to build more resilient agrifood systems and thrive in the face of climate change.
- CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. 2021. Climate services impact assessment generates evidence of more than 500,000 farmers reached by a comprehensive Climate Risk Management (CRM) strategy of eleven Latin American countries. Reported in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Annual Report 2021. Outcome Impact Case Report.
- CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. 2021. A user-centered, digitally integrated, and scalable system supports climate information generation, use, and exchange within the Central American Integration System (SICA) encompassing 200+ institutions and reaching 180 000 farmers. Reported in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Annual Report 2021. Outcome Impact Case Report.
- CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. 2021. Participatory integrated agro-climatic services benefit 33,000 farmers in 5 countries of Latin America. Reported in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Annual Report 2021. Outcome Impact Case Report.
- Hernandez-Quevedo, M., Navarro-Racines, C., Ajquejay, S., Giraldo, D., Ramírez-Villegas, J. (2022). Monitoring and evaluation of Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees (MTA) in Guatemala – 2022. Rome (Italy): The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT.
Header image: LTACs have provided tailored climate information to Guatemalan farmers since 2017. In 2022, they helped over 20,000 rural people become more resilient to climate change. Photo by Carlos Navarro/CIAT