By Fite Getaneh and Kindie Tesfaye
The CIMMYT-led Integrated Agricultural Production and Food Security Forecasting System for East Africa (INAPFS) project was launched at an inception workshop held on 15-16 April 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya, that brought together participants from national weather services and disaster risk management offices in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi, as well as from NGOs and research institutions operating in the region.
Funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) under its Flagship 2 initiative, the project aims to develop a robust, scientifically sound and user-friendly forecasting system that integrates improved seasonal climate, production and food security forecasts for east Africa. It will also provide accurate and spatially disaggregated early warnings to local and national governments and relief agencies, enabling them to respond to climate crises in a timely and efficient manner.
The inception workshop was launched by Guleid Artan, Director of the Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and Bwango Apuuli, IGAD consultant. According to Kindie Tesfaye, CIMMYT crop modeler, the workshop had three main objectives: to build awareness about the project and its role in early warning systems in eastern Africa, to achieve a shared understanding of INAPFS objectives and approaches, and to refine the proposed work plan.