Interview [ID: 97]

Olu Ajayi on scaling up proven practices to address climate change

There are enough solutions out there that can help farmers to address climate change, says Olu Ajayi of CTA in this interview. It was most important to support farmers onsite to practically take advantage of already existing practices and solve their problems at hand.

What CTA had done, was to go through the whole of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states to get information on farmers’ practices and policies and then make use of existing ICT tools.

"We have examples of how to use ICT tools,, which can help farmers disseminate information on climate change -- what kind of crop to plant, what kind of seed to plant, what time should they be planting them. We are proving that ICTs can contribute to helping farmers to address climate change.”

Video

Olu Ajayi | CTA

Olu Ajayi on scaling up proven practices to address climate change. Jan 2015

There are enough solutions out there that can help farmers to address climate change, says Olu Ajayi of CTA in this interview. It was most important to support farmers onsite to practically take advantage of already existing practices and solve their problems at hand.

Transcript

Samuel Ndonga on agriculture being vitally important vs the reality of investment

Pascal Corbé (Secretariat): I am here with Olu Ajayi of CTA at the CECAF Seminar on Food and Nutrition Security in Lima. Olu, what is the most pressing of the six issues presented here today, and why?

Olu Ajayi: Thank you very much. All the six issues are quite pertinent and very important, but since I have the choice to speak on one, I will say the need to scale up proven practices that can help farmers to address climate change. Why? Because there are enough solutions out there. We really need to take the ones that are existing and see how we can take advantage of what we have to solve the problem at hand.

Pascal Corbé (Secretariat): Disseminating information and sharing knowledge is obviously one thing, but how do you actually translate this into action with CTA? How do you come from knowledge exchange to behaviour change?

Olu Ajayi: Actually CTA just had a couple proposals to look at enough existing solutions out there but are not being scaled up because they are not known or people are localised. So what we have done is go through the whole of ACP—the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States—to get this information of farmers’ practices, of policies and use of ICT tools that are existing. We are proving that they can be used to contribute to helping farmers to address climate change. We are doing that by documenting how we can scale it up [and] disseminating the information because CTA is actually an agricultural knowledge information centre. We are actually a knowledge broker when it comes to agricultural information. [We make sure that information is brushed up and showcase to whole world] So what we are trying to do, what we are doing, is to make sure this information, I call them gems, which are hidden with the farmers, with the diverse practitioners, are actually disseminated, brushed up and showcased to the whole world to solve the problem.

Pascal Corbé (Secretariat): What are CTA’s activities in this regard?

Olu Ajayi: We have this information, and we impart this information. It helps them to have a kind of change in the way they address issues. It helps them to have new opportunities, new ways of doing things. We are trying to open up these opportunities for farmers to have this information and to help them to pick up on this information and these tools because these tools are existing but if I am not doing anything about them, they will not adopt them. The first step in getting to the outcome is for farmers to know that these things exist, that they work, and that the message is clear so they can use them.

Pascal Corbé (Secretariat): One example?

Olu Ajayi: One example of these climate resistant and climate-smart practices, we have examples of the use of ICT tools which can help farmers disseminate information on climate change: what kind of crop to plant, what kind of seed to plant, what time should they be planting them. These are things that are not available. Given the fact that if you look [in many ACP countries the formal extension systems are broken down, so we are now using ICTs] in many countries in the ACP the formal extension systems are broken down, so we are now using ICT, we are taking advantage of the fact that in many ACP countries the rate of internet connectivity and penetration has become so high. Africa has one of the fastest rate of growth in ICT. And many farmers have basic phones. So we are saying apart from using this phone to call their children, let’s use what the farmers have, we can use them as a channel to bring information that can help them in their farming activities and to address the issue of climate change.

Pascal Corbé (Secretariat): Thank you very much.

Olu Ajayi: Thank you very much.

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