Presentation on theme: "Agricultural Meteorology Division World Meteorological Organization"— Presentation transcript:
1Agricultural Meteorology Division World Meteorological Organization COMMUNICATION OF AGROMETEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION – GLOBAL PERSPECTIVESM.V.K. SivakumarAgricultural Meteorology DivisionWorld Meteorological Organization
2PRESENTATION Importance of Information IntroductionImportance of InformationCommunication of information – examples from differentregionsUser community and information for usersTypes of products needed by the usersRecent developments - technological advancesFuture challengesConclusions
3User 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.
4Commercial Energy Use and Cereal Output per Hectare (1972) 510152025305001,0001,5002,0002,5003,0003,5004,000energyoutputenergy per hectare (109 joules)output per hectare (kilogram)NorthAmericaWesternEuropeOceanaAfricaLatinNearEastFarSource: Stout, B.A Energy for World Agriculture. In Energy Management and Agriculture. Royal Dublin Society.
6We 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.
7IMPORTANCE OF AGROMETEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION Useful for both strategical and tactical decisions.Strategic decisionsCrop planningManagement practicesMarketingTactical decisionsSowingCultivationSprayingIrrigation scheduling etc.,
8COMMUNICATION OF AGROMETEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION - EXAMPLES FROM DIFFERENT REGIONS
9ISSUES FROM AFRICA (Akeh and Muchinda, 2002). Based on responses from 29 NMHSs and 4 institutions to a questionnnaireAll respondents issue agrometeorological bulletins and advisories75% 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.
10ISSUES FROM ASIA (Kamali and Lee, 2002). Based on responses from 14 NMHSs to a questionnnaireWith the exception of 2 NMHSs, all respondents issue agrometeorological bulletins and advisoriesIn 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.
11ISSUES 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 advisoriesIn 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.
12ISSUES 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 advisoriesIn 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.
13ISSUES 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 advisoriesIn 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.
14ISSUES 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.
15PROBLEM LACK OF ADEQUATE INTERACTIONS WITH USERS INADEQUATE SYNTHESISABUNDANCE OF DATALearn from users about their requirements and tailor the information to their needsKnow which data fit the information needsDevelop analytical tools
16HOW 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”
17CATEGORIES OF USERS COULD VARY Farming CommunityResearch CommunityGovernmental BodiesPrivate sectorPublicInternational Agencies.
18CONTENT 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 servicegeneral advisories accessed by farmers directly through the electronic mediaearly warning advice to prevent famine crisisdevelopment of agricultural planning policiesdevelopment of national climate policies as a follow-up of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Changegeneral issues disseminated to the public.
19INFORMATION MUST BE RELEVANT TO THE NEEDS OF THE USERSIn 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.
20WE NEED TO BE AWARE THAT USER DEMANDS ARE DYNAMIC AND SHOULDADJUST ACCORDINGLY
21LONG-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.
27BETTER 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.
28What is best about the internet? Fast and efficient delivery of informationVariety of resources in “one” placeUniversal(?) accessLinks
29Internet for information dissemination The internet can potentially provide an efficient means of disseminationCurrently there are several obstacles to its widespread useOnce infrastructure is overcome, it may be limited only to the imaginationAs always, web development requires knowledge of user needs
30BETTER TOOLS (CONTD.)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
32RANET Radio and Internet for the Communication of Hydro-Meteorological and Climate Related InformationThe 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.
33Technology & Knowledge Other Clim-Weather Products Dependency ofSeasonal ForecastsPerson-PersonRadioFaxModelingInstitutions011001010110110110Other Clim-Weather ProductsTelevisionObservationsInternetTrainingSatellite and Digital WirelessComputingCommunicationsInstitutions
34TECH TOOLS FOR SUCCESS3) At the top of nearly every hour the uplink station sends the uploaded information to the satellite for broadcast over all of Africa.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.4) The broadcast is then received by digital radios that are hooked into computers.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) Global, regional, national, and local information is gathered from various producers and then blended into single presentation that is compatible with satellite broadcast.6) Technologies, such as the VITA PGS allow rural communities to and extension agencies to send information requests, provide feedback, and receive technical support.
36Africa Learning Channels (ALC) Voice ContentData (multi-media content)RANET Is Broadcast On the ALC Data Channel4mb of data at the top of nearly every hourseveral 25mb broadcasts each week
37WorldSpace Foundation Africa Learning ChannelMulti-Media Service Broadcast CapacityThe 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 user’s hard drive where it can be viewed instantaneously and without bandwidth restrictions associated with land line infrastructure. Information remains on a user’s hard drive until it expires or is replaced by updated content.
38The POWER OF NETWORKS Bankilare Experience Rural Women Environmental IssuesIntegrationWorldSpace digital radio receiver protected by wooden box at low amplitude FM radio station in Bankilare, Niger.
39FUTURE 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.
40FUTURE 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 ?
41FUTURE CHALLENGES - NEED TO OPERATIONALIZE THE FORECASTS
42CONCLUSIONSExciting 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.