Harvesting Hope: Mrs. Mkhize's Journey with Global Insights and Agro-Advisory Wisdom

  • From
    Sehlule Muzata
  • Published on

Share this to :

The role of agronomy advisories in Africa: A story from the farmer’s perspective.

Hello, my name is Mrs. Mkhize, and I’m a farmer from the beautiful land of South Africa. I am sharing a bit about my journey and how this incredible advice we get through tools called the Agricultural Model Intercomparison Project (AGMIP) and GROWSMART has become my guiding light through the ever-changing dance of climate patterns. Like a friendly guide, this ingenious tool whispers advice on planting times, the best crops for our soil, and how to nurture them through the seasons. In a world where climate change disrupts our traditional ways, access to this knowledge is invaluable.

 The once predictable land now dances to a tune of uncertainty; planting seasons have become a puzzle, and the predictable rain is a fleeting memory.

You see, in the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, where the soil beneath our feet tells stories of generations past, where the wind carries stories passed down through generations. Agriculture is not just a livelihood; it’s a way of life. But with the climate playing unpredictable tunes, planting seasons have become a puzzle, and that’s where these tools entered my life.

I remember the first time I received an SMS alert from the advisories. It was like a friend whispering secrets of the weather into my ear. “Heavy rainfall expected,” it said. That message was my early warning, a heads-up that allowed me to prepare. I quickly stored rainwater in containers for use when irrigation is needed. It might sound simple, but for someone like me, it was a game-changer.

Farming has always been about understanding the land, feeling the wind, and predicting rain by the smell of the air. But advisories take it a step further. It’s not just about gut feelings anymore; it’s about data, technology, and a helping hand that guides us through the complexities of climate change.

The advisories are a companion in my farming journey. It’s like having a wise elder in the field, offering advice on when to plant when to water, and when to expect challenges. Through their insightful training, engaging discussions, and timely SMS alerts in isiZulu, my mother tongue, they empower us to face the challenges head-on. When heavy rainfall is on the horizon, or drought threatens our fields, a simple message prepares us for the natural hazard. It’s not just about warnings; it’s about timely and accurate information that empowers us to act. The beauty of it is that the SMS alert speaks my language, sending messages in a way that’s easy for me to understand. Agro-advisory, a beacon of knowledge for farmers like me, has become more than just a program; it’s a lifeline.

And you know, it’s not just about me; it’s about farmers worldwide sharing their experiences and knowledge. The advisories are like a treasure chest of knowledge. Brochures, flyers, and infographics – all tailored to us farmers. It’s not just information; it’s empowerment in our hands.

What makes the Agro-advisory system truly remarkable is its accuracy. The weather alert messages we receive are more than just informative; they are precise and straight to the point. It’s like having a trusted friend whispering secrets of the weather, helping us navigate the uncertainties of climate change.

This journey with advisories goes beyond the fields. It’s about us, the farmers, becoming the stewards of our land, adapting to challenges, and building resilience.

The impact of these initiatives has been profound. The seasonal calendar provided by Agro-advisory has transformed my approach to farming, leading to a remarkable improvement in crop yields and better market access. Gone are the days of guesswork and uncertainty; now, I stand tall, armed with knowledge and confidence.

So, as I navigate the fields, armed with global collective insights and Agro-advisory wisdom, I feel a sense of hope. Hope because even in the face of climate uncertainties, our hands in the soil can still yield abundance.

My story is not just mine; it’s a testament to the power of innovation, collaboration, and the unwavering spirit of farmers who refuse to be daunted by change. Together, we are cultivating crops and hope for a more resilient and sustainable future.

The training offered through Agro-advisory goes beyond practical solutions; they instill confidence to experiment with new techniques and technologies. I vividly remember the impact of the seasonal calendar provided – a guide to planting schedules. It has resulted in a remarkable improvement in my crop yields and better market access. About the CGIAR Excellence in Agronomy Initiative

The CGIAR Excellence in Agronomy Initiative was launched in 2020 to improve outcomes for smallholder farmers amidst climate change. EiA is supported by the CGIAR Big Data Platform and will combine big data analytics, new sensing technologies, geospatial decision tools, and farming systems research to come up with scalable agronomic innovations for agricultural development. The initiative is not only responding to demand from the public and private sector but will also help increase efficiencies through stronger collaboration and cross-learning among CGIAR centers and within the broader agronomy R&D ecosystem. More information can be found on the CGIAR Excellence in Agronomy website. Follow the CGIAR Excellence in Agronomy (EiA) Initiative on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter, for updates and information.

Share this to :