Arriving in Dar es Salaam under the strong tropical rain was a brand-new experience of Tanzania for the European part of the FOCUS-Africa team. We arrived just in time for the onset of the rainy season, which was at the core of our discussions on food security, considering that the amount and timeliness of the rain is one of the most important determinants of the success of yield. The CS4 team has been working on developing a new method of calculating the onset and the duration of the rainy season. While in Tanzania, we were able to test the new prototype climate service – the Teal Tool’s onset forecast.
The mission began with a whole day meeting of the case study 4 team, with colleagues from TMA, BSC, WEMC, and LGI. We briefed each other on the progress in the case study and the latest developments in the country. WEMC provided training on seasonal forecasting and the use of the Teal tool. By sharing the latest improvements in the functionality and interface, we collected feedback that allows us to further tailor the tool for the particular needs of users in Tanzania. Importantly, the aim was to delineate the key aspects where Teal adds value to the ongoing TMA’s effort in the realm of seasonal forecasting, namely the seasonal outlook and the integrated bulletin.
A new element of the CS4 service – the multiannual product – was another segment of the training. Inspiration for providing this service came from last year’s missions to Tanzania and Malawi, when a few stakeholders requested information on a multi-annual timescale. For more information about the FOCUS-Africa multi-annual tool feedback, read here.
Moving the focus to the key service users – farmers and extension officers – we travelled to Kibaha where we spent a day learning about their use of the seasonal forecast and the available adaptation options within their farming practices. LGI led the focus group discussion with farmers and extension officers, where we shared TMA’s seasonal forecast with the group, interpreted it together and explored avenues for adaptation to climate risks and for improving the forecast delivery.
The rest of the mission was devoted to other stakeholders, particularly to speak about the legacy of CS4 services. In these meetings, our aim was to engage with stakeholders who could help sustain the developed services beyond the project. Therefore, the CS2 team arranged meetings with: WFP, GIZ, EU Delegation in Tanzania, AFD, and FAO (online). The stakeholders recognized the value of our work and provided some leads for potential funding opportunities that could help assure the legacy of the services beyond the project.