CSE releases new report on agromet advisory systems – focusing on weather data collection and forecasting, agricultural expertise and analysis of crop data, leading to generation of practical advice for farmers
CSE underlines the need for similar assessments of agromet systems in other countries to build adaptation and resilience for "frontline victims of climate change”
New Delhi, April 28, 2020: “We keep hearing that we have to give farmers a greater ability to cope with extreme weather events. How do we do it? What does it really mean? What we've done here is to put flesh and form into the word 'adaptation',” said Sunita Narain, director general, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), as she introduced CSE’s new report on Agrometeorological Advisories in India at a recently conducted webinar on ‘Weather and the Farmer’.
Researched and put together by CSE’s Climate Change Unit, the new report grew out of a mission to understand how climate adaptation actually works on the ground in vulnerable sectors. Apart from informing Indian policymaking, the broader aim of the report is two-fold, says Tarun Gopalakrishnan, one of the writers – “firstly, to shift the global debate about adaptation, which is currently stuck in disputes over how much additional finance is needed for adaptation, and the role of the public versus the private sector. Secondly, to use the Indian experience (positive and negative) to guide the development of similar tools in other climate-vulnerable countries.”
The report assesses the agromet advisory system – the inter-linked institutions, technologies and actors who collect weather data to generate forecasts, and combine these forecasts with crop data and expertise to generate practical advice for farmers. This system is critical because, in theory, it can enable farmers to cope with increasing climate uncertainty, which is overwhelming traditional (as well a lot of scientific) knowledge of weather and cropping patterns.
CSE organised a webinar last week on the subject. Anchored by Narain, the webinar attracted over 300 registrations (to access the presentation and other details, please visit www.cseindia.org).
While it has developed under the primary leadership of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), India’s agromet system is properly understood as three connected systems – weather forecasting, crop data collection and research, and agricultural ‘extension’ (which reaches technology and expertise to farmers). The CSE report, therefore, breaks down the system into three sub-sectors – weather data and forecasting, creation of agromet advisories, and dissemination of advisories.
Says Gopalakrishnan: “We see significant investment in technology in India – including in automatic weather stations and mobile technology to disseminate advisories. But there is a lack of quality control of data, gaps in data sharing, a lack of specificity in forecasts and advisories and uneven investment across different states. Worse, investment in critical human resources has decreased – especially the expertise required to create advisories tailored to farmers’ economic and geographical context, and the humanpower which trains farmers to implement the advice.”
CSE’s policy recommendations:
In her closing address at the webinar, Narain highlighted the need for similar assessments of the evolving agromet systems in other regions of the developing world, to build adaptation and resilience for "frontline victims of climate change, based on equity, solidarity and shared experiences”.
To access the CSE report: https://www.cseindia.org/agrometeorological-advisory-services-india-10064
For any other details, please contact Sukanya Nair of The CSE Media Resource Centre, email@example.com / 88168 18864.