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COMMUNICATION OF AGROMETEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION – GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES M.V.K. Sivakumar Agricultural Meteorology Division World Meteorological Organization.

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Presentation on theme: "COMMUNICATION OF AGROMETEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION – GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES M.V.K. Sivakumar Agricultural Meteorology Division World Meteorological Organization."— Presentation transcript:

1 COMMUNICATION OF AGROMETEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION – GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES M.V.K. Sivakumar Agricultural Meteorology Division World Meteorological Organization M.V.K. Sivakumar Agricultural Meteorology Division World Meteorological Organization

2 PRESENTATION Introduction Importance of Information Communication of information – examples from different regions User community and information for users Types of products needed by the users Recent developments - technological advances Future challenges Conclusions

3 User concerns for environment and sustainable agriculture point to the urgent need for a transition from chemical- and machinery-intensive to knowledge- and labor-intensive farming technologies.

4 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 4,000 energy output energy per hectare (10 9 joules) output per hectare (kilogram) North America Western Europe Oceana Africa Latin America Near East Far East Commercial Energy Use and Cereal Output per Hectare (1972) Source: Stout, B.A. 1982. Energy for World Agriculture. In Energy Management and Agriculture. Royal Dublin Society.

5 INFORMATION IS KEY...

6 We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom … The World henceforth will be run by PEOPLE able to put together the RIGHT INFORMATION at the RIGHT TIME.

7 IMPORTANCE OF AGROMETEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION Useful for both strategical and tactical decisions. Strategic decisions - Crop planning - Management practices - Marketing Tactical decisions - Sowing - Cultivation - Spraying - Irrigation scheduling etc.,

8 COMMUNICATION OF AGROMETEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION - EXAMPLES FROM DIFFERENT REGIONS

9 ISSUES FROM AFRICA (Akeh and Muchinda, 2002). Based on responses from 29 NMHSs and 4 institutions to a questionnnaire All respondents issue agrometeorological bulletins and advisories 75% of the respondents do not involve agricultural research and extension agencies in the preparation or dissemination of agromet bulletins. 80% of respondents stated that their products are targeted at Govt agencies, NGOs, regional and international organizations. 80% of the respondents have not made any effort in obtaining feedback from users. 90% of the respondents have not made any efforts to assess the economic value and benefit of the use of information provided.

10 ISSUES FROM ASIA (Kamali and Lee, 2002). Based on responses from 14 NMHSs to a questionnnaire With the exception of 2 NMHSs, all respondents issue agrometeorological bulletins and advisories In most cases, products are targeted at Govt agencies, large farming and industry companies. Some provide information to farmers. No systematic effort is made to obtain feedback from users. Some efforts are made to assess the economic value and benefit of the use of information provided. Early warnings are given and distributed to the authorities.

11 ISSUES FROM SOUTH AMERICA (Carvajal et al. 2002). Based on analysis of eight countries. With the exception of 2 NMHSs in South America, all respondents issue agrometeorological bulletins and advisories In most cases, products are targeted at general public, farmers, association of producers, technicians, authorities, and commercial companies. No systematic effort is made to obtain feedback from users. No effort is made to assess the economic value and benefit of the use of information provided. Early warnings are given and distributed to the authorities and farmers.

12 ISSUES FROM NORTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (Solano and Frutos 2002). Very few NMHSs have independent agrometeorological services. Only Canada, Colombia, Cuba and USA have such services. Few NMHSs issue agrometeorological bulletins and advisories In most cases, products are targeted at farmers, association of producers, technicians, authorities, and commercial companies. No systematic effort is made to obtain feedback from users. Yearly evaluation is conducted on the cost of preparing the bulletins. Early warnings are given and distributed to the authorities and farmers.

13 ISSUES FROM SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC (Chan and Whitaker 2002). ISSUES FROM SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC (Chan and Whitaker 2002). Based on responses from 7 countries to a questionnaire. Generally agrometeorological services are provided together with other services of the NMHSs. Only one country has an independent service. No agricultural research and extension agencies are involved in issuing agrometeorological bulletins and advisories In most cases, products are targeted at farmers, land users, agricultural researchers, extension workers, land development personnel, foresters etc., No systematic effort is made to obtain feedback from users. Developing countries do not assess the economic value of the information provided.

14 ISSUES FROM EUROPE (Dunkel 2002) Based on responses from 30 countries and one agency. Seventeen of the 30 respondent countries have independent agrometeorological units. In 19 countries, agricultural research and extension agencies are involved in the preparation of the agrometeorological bulletins and advisories. Nine of the countries target farmers. In seven countries the target is the government while in 12 countries extension services or private companies were mentioned as the target. In most countries, no systematic effort is made to obtain feedback from users. Most countries also do not assess the economic value of the information provided.

15 LACK OF ADEQUATE INTERACTIONS WITH USERS PROBLEM Learn from users about their requirements and tailor the information to their needs Know which data fit the information needs Develop analytical tools INADEQUATE SYNTHESIS ABUNDANCE OF DATA

16 HOW DO WE DEFINE THE USER COMMUNITY ? The user community for agrometeorological data and information can be understood in its broadest sense to cover the spectrum from institutions and governments to farmers at the subsistence level

17 CATEGORIES OF USERS COULD VARY Farming Community Research Community Governmental Bodies Private sector Public International Agencies.

18 CONTENT OF INFORMATION VARIES WITH END USERS Depending on its purpose, the content of information can be related to: special advisories provided to farmers through the national extension service general advisories accessed by farmers directly through the electronic media early warning advice to prevent famine crisis development of agricultural planning policies development of national climate policies as a follow-up of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change general issues disseminated to the public.

19 INFORMATION MUST BE RELEVANT TO THE NEEDS OF THE USERS INFORMATION MUST BE RELEVANT TO THE NEEDS OF THE USERS In order to be valuable for the end-users, the content of information must correspond to the particular needs of the end-user. Agrometeorological information is often not comprehensive. In many cases, it refers only to the "meteorological" component (i.e., weather conditions, forecasts of future weather events, analyses of past weather) It neglects the "agricultural" part, which is the linkage between physical and biological parameters. This linkage is required by farmers to make informed agricultural decisions.

20 WE NEED TO BE AWARE THAT USER DEMANDS ARE DYNAMIC AND SHOULD ADJUST ACCORDINGLY WE NEED TO BE AWARE THAT USER DEMANDS ARE DYNAMIC AND SHOULD ADJUST ACCORDINGLY

21 LONG-RANGE WEATHER FORECASTING One of the persistent demands from the agriculturists is to have reliable forecasts of seasonal weather patterns as it could help them take appropriate decisions. Farmer demands can vary from multi-year to seasonal to within-season forecasts. The activity for which each of these forecasts is needed and the scale of forecasts vary, but their utility is unique and hence the demand is consistent.

22 MULTI-YEAR FORECASTS AND AGRICULTURE

23 SEASONAL WEATHER FORECASTS FOR FARMERS

24

25 WITHIN SEASON FORECASTS AND THE FARMER

26 RECENT DEVELOPMENTS - TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES RECENT DEVELOPMENTS - TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES

27 BETTER TOOLS Enhanced computing power makes data manipulation easy. Advances in forecasting techniques are increasing the lead time and the accuracy. Information is becoming available rapidly and at low cost through modern communication tools such as internet.

28 What is best about the internet? Fast and efficient delivery of information Variety of resources in one place Universal(?) access Links

29 Internet for information dissemination The internet can potentially provide an efficient means of dissemination Currently there are several obstacles to its widespread use Once infrastructure is overcome, it may be limited only to the imagination As always, web development requires knowledge of user needs

30 Revolutionary changes in audio-video media make it easy to take the information to users. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and other spatial modelling tools make it possible to integrate biological, physical and socio-economic factors in a holistic manner BETTER TOOLS (CONTD.)

31 INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIPS RANET

32 The project is a cooperative effort of many national to international organizations that have come together to provide resources and technical expertise in order to improve overall access to climate and weather observations and products. RANET Radio and Internet for the Communication of Hydro-Meteorological and Climate Related Information

33 011001 010110 110110 011001 010110 110110 Person-Person Radio Fax Television Internet Satellite and Digital Wireless Communications Institutions Modeling Computing Observations Institutions Technology & Knowledge Dependency of Seasonal Forecasts Technology & Knowledge Dependency of Seasonal Forecasts Training Other Clim-Weather Products

34 TECH TOOLS FOR SUCCESS 2) 2) The compiled information is then sent via the internet to a satellite uplink station located in South Africa. Some of this information is automatically updated while other requires manual uploading. 3) 3) At the top of nearly every hour the uplink station sends the uploaded information to the satellite for broadcast over all of Africa. 5) 5) The broadcast can be used by meteorological services, extension agencies, or even local communities who might use the content to improve their own products or to translate information into the local language and according to local interest. 1) 1) Global, regional, national, and local information is gathered from various producers and then blended into single presentation that is compatible with satellite broadcast. 6) 6) Technologies, such as the VITA PGS allow rural communities to and extension agencies to send information requests, provide feedback, and receive technical support. 4) 4) The broadcast is then received by digital radios that are hooked into computers.

35 Current and Planned Coverage

36 Africa Learning Channels (ALC) Voice Content Data (multi-media content) RANET Is Broadcast On the ALC Data Channel 4mb of data at the top of nearly every hour several 25mb broadcasts each week

37 WorldSpace Foundation Africa Learning Channel Multi-Media Service Broadcast Capacity The Africa Learning Channel (ALC) Multi-Media service broadcasts content at a rate of 64kbps, which is delivered in small packages that fit within a 21 megabyte broadcast hour. Currently the ALC Multi-Media Service rotates material on a six hour basis each day. Although much of the material is rebroadcast to ensure that users have received content, there is nonetheless a total weekly capacity, with the current schedule, of 882 megabytes. Alterations to the schedule could potentially expand this capacity to 1.2 gigabytes per week. Information broadcast over the system is sent directly to a users hard drive where it can be viewed instantaneously and without bandwidth restrictions associated with land line infrastructure. Information remains on a users hard drive until it expires or is replaced by updated content.

38 WorldSpace digital radio receiver protected by wooden box at low amplitude FM radio station in Bankilare, Niger. The POWER OF NETWORKS Bankilare Experience Rural Women Environmental Issues Integration

39 FUTURE CHALLENGES: ADAPT A BOTTOM-UP APPROACH Much of the agrometeorological information, despite the rapid technological advances, does not reach small farmers with limited means. Back to the basics - involve the users right from the beginning ie., adopt a bottom-up approach. Recognize that users are many and they have diverse needs.

40 FUTURE CHALLENGES: NEED A PARADIGM SHIFT FROM DATA TO INFORMATION Data collection in itself is a futile exercise if no information is generated from the data. Data gathering dust in filing cabinets is wasted human effort and money. Information in itself is of no value if nobody uses it. Hence ask why we generate this information in the first place. Outdated information serves no one. If information can not be generated on time for the end user, why do we even bother to produce it ?

41 FUTURE CHALLENGES - NEED TO OPERATIONALIZE THE FORECASTS

42 CONCLUSIONS Exciting opportunities exist today to help the agricultural world through agrometeorological advisory services. A better understanding of the user needs is needed to provide agrometeorological information in a timely and useful manner. More active collaboration among agrometeorologists, agronomists, extension agents and non-governmental organizations should be encouraged. Improved two-way communication between farmers, policymakers and researchers is crucial.

43 WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION


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