Agri Business

South Asian nations form platform to tone up agromet advisory services

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 26, 2021

Aims to take the services to unprivileged farmers in the remote areas of the region

Operational agrometeorological advisory services across South Asia have received a boost with the formation of the South Asian Forum on Agricultural Meteorology (Safoam), which aims to reach the services to unprivileged farmers and other users in the remote areas of the region.

Safoam, formed in February, will seek to share information about national agromet advisory services and a common strategic mission and vision in adapting to/mitigation of future challenges from weather and climate, says Nabansu Chattopadhyay, President, International Society for Agricultural Meteorology, and Executive Secretary, Global Federation of Agrometeorological Societies.

Managing weather hazards

It will adopt an innovative approach in managing weather, climate hazards and extreme events to promote greater resilience, and focus on areas such as reliable and timely sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasts and use of remote sensing on operational agrometeorology services.

It will establish institutional arrangements needed to sustain and scale up ongoing national and regional efforts in the delivery of agromet services. India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives and Myanmar were represented in brainstorming sessions held so far.

Status update, strategies

Safoam proposes to come out with the status and existing strategies for meeting the need, gaps and requirements for operational agromet advisory services in South Asia, said Chattopadhyay. It will also promote the use of satellite-derived products and wants to set up a web portal for itself.

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It will seek to evolve a new dimension with respect to advisory services for the hilly regions. Safoam also plans to build capacity in ICT programme management, and also build the required cadre and mentor them for ensuring continuity of agromet service innovation.

“There are some countries in South Asia that are behind in several aspects of agrometeorology. Safoam will see how the advanced countries in the region can help the others with support and mentoring in agrometeorology services, said Chattopadhyay”.

Safoam will not restrict capacity-building efforts to agrometeorologists, but also extend it to farmers, industries, government officials, extension officers and service providers. Each member-country needs to prioritise its requirements to be presented for Safoam’s consideration.

Published on July 26, 2021

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