Farmers transformed how we investigate climate

Women from the Mbini Self-Help Group showing off the fieldsToo often, scientists assume that knowledge transfer begins with basic research, which then inspires an application that we expect others to use automatically. Experience has taught how limited this linear model can be. Co-production — working with those who will actually use the outcomes of my climate research — can be circuitous and unpredictable, but ultimately is more worthwhile.

One project merged concepts from three domains: climate science (climatic variability, uncertainty, monitoring, normality and predictions); anthropology (perception, confidentiality and participation); and the knowledge that farming communities have earned through experience (direct observation, the occurrence of certain meteorological events in a certain combination and rainfall thresholds that are relevant for production).

Read the full article in Nature