News & events


Using seasonal forecasts as an effective drought risk management tool

14 August 2012
12:15 - 13:30

Economic Performance and Development

Date : 14 August 2012

Time : 12:15 – 13:30


Presented by Ephias M. Makaudze, Department of Economics, University of Western Cape  

Drought constitutes the most dominant source of food insecurity in Zimbabwe and equally many other countries in Africa. With a majority of smallholder farmers practicing dry-land agriculture, seasonal forecasts hold promise as an effective drought risk management tool, giving farmers the ability to anticipate rainfall variability early enough to adjust crucial farm decisions and better prepared to handle climatic anomalies in ways that can reduce costly losses (crop, animal and even human). This study demonstrates the potential value of forecasts to smallholder farmers, a majority who often suffer severely from the impact of drought.

Dr Ephias Makaudze is a former Rockefeller Foundation scholar currently employed as a senior lecturer with the Department of Economics, University of Western Cape. Ephias is an established researcher in the areas of climate forecasts, agricultural risk management and micro-insurance for poor smallholder farmers in developing communities. His work focuses on ground-breaking research that explores usage of remote sensing technology and satellite derivatives for purposes of crop growth monitoring, food insecurity mapping and risk-protection mechanisms for resource-poor farmers. Of late he has expanded his research work to include the exploration of ICT innovations and their potential role in agricultural development and poverty alleviation from smallholder farmers’ perspective. Ephias is currently an editor to a book documenting “the experience of weather index insurance for smallholder farmers in Africa: Lessons learnt and Way forward.” He doubles up an expert advisor to NEPAD on aspect of agricultural risk management tools and their incorporation in CAADP framework.

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. The speaker will be in Cape Town. Details as below.

Kindly RSVP by 12 August 2012

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Vuyokazi Ngxubaza, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or , Cell: 082 0508453

Durban :  First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: