Farmers from now on will get advance weather forecast for five weeks to three months through automatic sub-seasonal to seasonal weather forecasting system.
Such advance warning system on weather will enable farmers to take appropriate plans, increase production and face unwanted natural climate risk.
Such information was highlighted during an automatic forecasting system inauguration event held at the Bangladesh Military Museum in the capital on Monday.
In order to provide accurate and up-to-date weather information to farmers, under the ‘Agro-Meteorological Information Systems Development’ project, a new weather forecasting system titled ‘Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal forecasting for Agriculture in Bangladesh’ has been launched in collaboration with the ‘Department of Agriculture Extension’ and ‘Bangladesh Meteorological Department’.
Through this system, farmers will get weather forecast for the next 4 weeks to 3 months, which will help them to make production decisions based on the weather pattern.
Speakers at the event informed that currently farmers usually get weather forecast from daily to a maximum of five days. But with this short notice, they don’t get enough lead time and opportunity to do the needful practises to protect the crop from the adverse weather situation. Because of this new forecasting system, it will be possible to avert such crisis as farmers will get enough prior notice to protect their crops.
They said that as the farmers have to take production risk during the inclement weather, the overall production cost increases along with the wastage of agricultural inputs due to lack of accurate information in advance of the weather. That is why it is important for farmers to have advance weather information. This system will help in making production decisions starting from crop selection according to weather conditions.
Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akhtar was the chief guest on the occasion. The secretary said, “This new automated forecasting system is a state-of-the-art system that uses the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics to provide accurate and timely information about weather patterns”.
The agriculture secretary further highlighted and said, “This forecasting system is beneficial not only for our farmers but also for the entire value chain of the agriculture sector. This will help our policy makers to formulate effective policies and programs to support the growth and development of the agriculture sector. It will help our agro input suppliers, processors and exporters to manage their supply chain, reduce risks and increase their competitiveness in the global market.”
Bob Amerlan, researcher and project coordinator at ‘Weather Impact BV’ in the Netherlands, presented the technical and practical aspects of the ‘Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal’ forecasting system.
He also presented how weather bulletins, agro-meteorological information services can be delivered to farmers through this new forecasting system.
The project director Md. Shah Kamal Khan gave a welcome speech at the event. He said, “Sub-seasonal and seasonal weather information is very important for our farmers in their farm management planning. The active cooperation of DAE, BMD and long efforts of international research institutes to implement this is commendable.”