Sub-seasonal to seasonal forecast information for Bangladeshi farmers – official project start
Last week we visited Bangladesh for the start of our project that aims to provide sub-seasonal to seasonal forecast information for farmers: #S2S4Agri. Weather Impact will, together with Wageningen Environmental Research (WEnR) and local partner Digital Innovation 4 Impact, develop the entire data stream from weather model data to agri-advisory services. For this, close collaboration with the local institutes, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) and Department of Agricultural Extension, Ministry of Agriculture, GoB (DAE), is essential. Therefore, an important component of the project is to provide capacity building trainings to the local staff to ensure sustainable continuation of the service after the project.
Sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasting (S2S in short) is a relatively new field of weather forecasting and covers the period of 2 to 6 weeks ahead, between the standard 15-day weather forecast and monthly seasonal forecasts. Weather Impact will develop an automatic S2S forecasting system for the BMD. The S2S time frame contains potentially valuable information for farmers and agriculture in general. For example, i) will the monsoon start early or late, ii) are there indications for extreme rainfall and potential flooding or drier periods, or iii) are favorable weather conditions for pest & disease development upcoming. Based on such longer-term information, farmers can decide to postpone planting, vary crop selection or anticipate on fertilizer or pesticide need in advance. WEnR and DAE will develop such agri-advisories based on S2S forecasts and present those in the BAMIS portal, the Bangladesh Agro-Meteorological Information portal,
Our local partner Digital Innovation 4 Impact delivers local IT support and is essential for the local implementation of the services and knowledge. Last week, their hosting of the inception week resulted in a good and very fruitful start of this project. Next to the inception workshop with over 25 participants from all stakeholders, hosted at DAE, we had numerous insightful discussions with the meteorological and agricultural experts, despite the notoriously busy traffic in Dhaka.
The project’s name is “Developing sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasts and associated climate information for agricultural decision-making” and falls under to “Agro-Meteorological Information Systems Development Project” (AMISDP), Component C of “Bangladesh Weather and Climate Services Regional Project” (BWCSRP), financed by the The World Bank and contracted through the Department of Agricultural Extension, Ministry of Agriculture, GoB (DAE) of Bangladesh.