DCAS training Southern Africa – 27 & 28 September 2023

Training Digital Climate Advisory services (DCAS) to support climate resilience for smallholder agriculture in Southern Africa

Climate change poses significant challenges to agricultural practices that have traditionally relied on intergenerational knowledge transfer. With the increasing unpredictability of weather patterns, such as the start and intensity of the rainy season, as well as the rise in extreme weather events like floods and droughts, farmers face immense difficulties in sustaining their livelihoods. These challenges are particularly impacting smallholder farmers who heavily rely on rainfall for irrigation, have limited access to resources and insurance, and struggle to cope with climate-related risks. In this context, Digital Climate Advisory Services (DCAS) have emerged as crucial tools to assist farmers and governments in navigating the complexities of climate change.

On behalf of Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) and hosted by African Development Bank (AfdB), Weather Impact and Aqualinks organise the event “DCAS Training to Support Climate Resilience for Smallholder Agriculture in Southern Africa”, to bring together public and private high-level key change makers from the Southern African region, who have the capacity to implement and scale up DCAS. The training event will feature plenary sessions, panel discussions, and workshops, with a focus on practical applications, challenges and opportunities in developing, marketing and maintaining DCAS.

This two-day training, scheduled for the 27th and 28th of September 2023, will be hosted close to Johannesburg, South Africa, providing participants with an interactive hybrid experience, allowing for both in-person attendance and online participation. You can also follow the event by watching the livestream on Youtube:

  • TRAINING DAY 1 – 27 SEP: https://youtube.com/live/A44mE6YzXow?feature=share
  • TRAINING DAY 2 – 28 SEP: https://youtube.com/live/rcGra8Iu9jA?feature=share

    Objectives of the training

    • Share knowledge and promote collaboration among high-level stakeholders in the Southern African region to scale up DCAS for smallholder agriculture.
    • Encourage stakeholders in Southern Africa to adopt DCAS by showcasing innovative approaches, best practices, and successful case studies that integrate DCAS into their climate resilience strategies.
    • Advocate for future investments to support digital agricultural solutions in countries across Southern Africa.

    We look forward to active participation in this training as we collectively strive towards a climate-resilient future.



    Training programme

    Sep 26, Welcome dinner and Networking Drinks

    Sep 27, Morning: “Sketching the problem of climate change and the potential of DCAS for smallholder agriculture – regional and personal perspectives”

    Official Opening (9:00 am)
    By GCA and AfDB

    The Impact of Climate Change in Southern Africa and the Potential of DCAS for Smallholder Agriculture, incl. Panel Discussion on Farmers’ Experiences (9:30 am)
    What are the current and future impacts of climate change in the region and how do farmers experience this? What are DCAS and what is their potential?
    Dr. Stefan Ligtenberg (Weather Impact)

    Coffee Break (10:30 am)

    GCA’s overview and work on digital solutions in investment projects in Southern Africa (11:00 am)

    Feed Africa Investment Priorities for Southern Africa (11:30 am)
    Overview of the Bank’s investment plans for the SA region, and scope for DCAS mainstreaming.

    Lunch Break (12:00 pm)

    Sep 27, Afternoon: ”How to make DCAS work for the end-user? Reflecting on co-creation and means of dissemination – Examples of operational DCAS”

    AfDB Digital Agriculture Toolkit (1:00 pm)
    Overview of digital technologies, and how to mainstream them into DFI investments – design and implementation
    Olukemi Dolly Afun-Ogidan (AfDB)

    Engagement of smallholder farmers in the evaluation and co-development of DCAS (1:45 pm)
    DCAS are for farmers, but how is agrometeorological and -climatological information perceived? How does this depend on the way the message is presented? How can DCAS be improved by evaluating their design with farmers? How to build legitimacy and trust with farmers?
    dr. Durton Nanja

    Coffee Break (2:30 am)

    Four Examples of operational DCAS (3:00 pm)
    Yannick Chocola (AUXFIN Burundi)
    Prof. dr. Muthoni Masinde (ITIKI)
    Bradwell Garanganga (CIS based DST for Agricultural Productivity)
    Janina Fraas (Weather Impact)

    DCAS Providers’ Perspectives – Panel Discussion

    Sep 28, Morning: – ”Sustainable Business Models”

    DCAS Delivery to Smallholder Farmers: Pros and cons of Free versus Subscription Service (9:00 am)
    Challenges and Benefits learnt from Use-cases
    Prof. dr. Sue Walker

    Business models Tailored to the Local Context (9:45 am)
    How to design a sustainable business model (subsidy-based, third-party customers, farmer-payments) for DCAS?
    dr. Brian Muroyiwa

    Coffee Break (10:15 am)

    Business Model Canvas Exercise
    Mapping a Business Canvas for a DCAS.
    dr. Brian Muroyiwa

    Lunch Break (12:00 pm)

    Sep 28, Afternoon: ”The role of different stakeholders and upscaling: call for collaboration”

    DCAS as an opportunity for Youth to accelerate in building successful agri-businesses (1:00 pm)
    By leveraging DCAS, young entrepreneurs can enter the agricultural sector and build innovative and sustainable businesses in the digital age.
    Kanyekanye Tonderai (Former Youth Officer at Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union & lecturer at Bindura University of Science Education)

    Upscaling of DCAS through collaboration (1:30 am)
    The development and upscaling of DCAS must ensure proper monitoring and evaluation, budgeting, clear stakeholder roles, standards of outcomes and success indicators.
    Yannick Chocola (AUXFIN Burundi)

    The Role of Public Organizations, the Private Sector, Civil Society, and Youth in the Development and Upscaling of DCAS – Group Discussions (2:00 am)
    This will be an interactive session with sector-specific and cross-sectoral discussions, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of sectors in the context of successfully providing DCAS to smallholder farmers.
    Weather Impact and AquaLinks

    Closing ceremony (4:30 pm)


    Download Training programme


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