he traditional subsistent farmer in Southern Africa and indeed in Zimbabwe has minimally been dependent on weather information for planning and executing his farming activities. Recent land tenure reforms, coupled with the increasingly apparent effects of climate change, have posed a great challenge to the indigenous Zimbabwean who has been brought up in a small scale farming setup with very little regard to weather and climate information. Disseminating weather and other scientific information to the new and largely inexperienced large scale farmer is of paramount importance, if food security and the mitigation of adverse effects of extreme weather and climate occurrences are to be realized. National and international institutions and organizations operating in Zimbabwe are playing a pivotal role in communicating weather advisories, drought early warnings, crop yield estimates and providing other agrometeorological information. The Zimbabwe Meteorological Services, SADC Drought Monitoring Centre and the National Early Warning Unit are at the forefront in this endeavor.

This paper discusses the weather and climate information dissemination activities of these key institutions and organizations, and the various methods they are using, the inherent challenges they encounter in dealing with a previously less scientific farming community and the inroads they have made in recent years. Qualitative and quantitative assessments of the spatial and temporal trends in the embracing of and use of agrometeorological and other related information are given. Government response to weather information, seen in relevant policy formulations, is also examined.

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Communicating thew eather in the face of shifting climate and land tenure environments in Zimbabwe

Joel Chabata   Zimbabwe Department of Meteorological Services, Harare, Zimbabwe

he traditional subsistent farmer in Southern Africa and indeed in Zimbabwe has minimally been dependent on weather information for planning and executing his farming activities. Recent land tenure reforms, coupled with the increasingly apparent effects of climate change, have posed a great challenge to the indigenous Zimbabwean who has been brought up in a small scale farming setup with very little regard to weather and climate information. Disseminating weather and other scientific information to the new and largely inexperienced large scale farmer is of paramount importance, if food security and the mitigation of adverse effects of extreme weather and climate occurrences are to be realized. National and international institutions and organizations operating in Zimbabwe are playing a pivotal role in communicating weather advisories, drought early warnings, crop yield estimates and providing other agrometeorological information. The Zimbabwe Meteorological Services, SADC Drought Monitoring Centre and the National Early Warning Unit are at the forefront in this endeavor.

This paper discusses the weather and climate information dissemination activities of these key institutions and organizations, and the various methods they are using, the inherent challenges they encounter in dealing with a previously less scientific farming community and the inroads they have made in recent years. Qualitative and quantitative assessments of the spatial and temporal trends in the embracing of and use of agrometeorological and other related information are given. Government response to weather information, seen in relevant policy formulations, is also examined.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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