Strengthening Agricultural Resilience through the Integration of Early Warning Signals in the Malawi National Agriculture Management Information System (NAMIS) for Climate Change Adaptation

The agriculture sector remains the largest contributor to economic growth and development in Malawi.
It absorbs more than 64% of the total workforce and represents about 22% of the GDP and over 60% of foreign exchange
earnings. Unpredictable rainfall, floods, droughts, and dry spells are examples of climatic shocks that have negatively impacted
Malawi’s production systems. Reliable data-backed decision support systems are therefore necessary to plan Malawi’s food
production and security, taking into consideration these climate occurrences as well as other socioeconomic aspects. Climate
change poses a formidable challenge to global agriculture, necessitating proactive strategies to enhance resilience and
adaptability. The Ministry of Agriculture through the Department of Planning explored the inclusion of a meteorology module
within the National Agriculture Management Information System (NAMIS) as a key component for providing early warning
signals. NAMIS is a DHIS 2 Platform that provides extension services and information to farmers, through extension workers.
NAMIS also provides a basis for evidence-based decision-making by policymakers and managers. The integration of
meteorological data into NAMIS serves as a dynamic tool to equip agricultural stakeholders with crucial information for preemptive decision-making in the face of changing climatic conditions. The meteorology module in NAMIS offers real-time
monitoring of meteorological parameters, including temperature fluctuations, precipitation patterns, and extreme weather
events. By harnessing this module within NAMIS, farmers, policymakers, and researchers gain access to timely and accurate
meteorological insights that are instrumental in anticipating and preparing for climate-related challenges. This, in turn,
facilitates the implementation of proactive measures, allowing for adjustments in crop choices, planting schedules, and
resource allocation. A key innovation lies in the provision of early warning signals through NAMIS, enabling the development of
effective strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change on agriculture. This integration empowers farmers to make
informed decisions and adopt adaptive practices, contributing to increased agricultural resilience. The implementation
emphasizes the collaborative efforts of Meteorological agencies, technology developers, and agricultural experts in refining
and optimizing the meteorology module within NAMIS. This collaborative approach ensures the continuous improvement of the
system’s capability to deliver precise and actionable early warning signals. The intervention signifies a significant step towardsbolstering agricultural resilience in the face of climate change