Personal tools
You are here: Home » Topics » History of Agrometeorology » The History of Capacity Building through Roving Seminars on Agro-meteorology/-climatology in Africa, Asia and Latin America by “Agromet Vision”. I. Agrometeorological Services: Theory and Practice
INSAM Navigation
 

The History of Capacity Building through Roving Seminars on Agro-meteorology/-climatology in Africa, Asia and Latin America by “Agromet Vision”. I. Agrometeorological Services: Theory and Practice

Last modified April 28, 2015 12:59

My one man consultancy bureau “Agromet Vision” (presently The Netherlands, Indonesia, Africa) offers Roving Seminars of two to five days for university staff, professional agrometeorologists and extension intermediaries since 2005, with local evaluations.

The History of Capacity Building through Roving Seminars on Agro-meteorology/-climatology in Africa, Asia and Latin America by “Agromet Vision”. I. Agrometeorological Services: Theory and Practice  

C. (Kees) J. Stigter,

Group Agrometeorology, Department of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences, University of the Free State (UFS), Faculty of Agriculture, Agriculture Building, Campus UFS, 9301 Bloemfontein, South Africa

and

Cluster Response Farming and Climate Change, Department of Anthropology

University of Indonesia (UI), Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Fl.6/Building H - Selo Soemardjan Room, Kampus UI,16424 Depok/Indonesia

and

Agromet Vision, Groenestraat 13, 5314AJ Bruchem/The Netherlands

E-mail: cjstigter@usa.net

 

Introduction

My one man consultancy bureau “Agromet Vision” (presently The Netherlands, Indonesia, Africa) offers Roving Seminars of two to five days for university staff, professional agrometeorologists and extension intermediaries since 2005, with local evaluations.

History (latest update of information sent to parties interested in my Roving Seminars, based on Stigter, 2006a)

Occasional early missions to Madagascar (4 months, 1969) and Algeria (2 weeks, 1972) apart, I worked in Africa for 40 years (1975 – 2015) in 20 countries and in Asia for 5 respectively 18 years (1988 – 1993; 1997 – 2015) in 10 countries. I worked occasionally in Latin America, in 5 countries. From the beginning I had the farmers, their (local) governments and the knowledge already locally available as my core interests (Stigter, 1982). This led to a working document submitted to the VIIIth Session of CAgM (Technical Commission for Agricultural Meteorology of the World Meteorological Organization) in Geneva (WMO, 1983). Proposed by the late Dr. Baier, then immediate past president of CAgM, and seconded by the late Dr. Gerbier, then president of CAgM, this resulted in the establishment of a Working Group that reported to the IXth Session of CAgM in Madrid (Stigter, 1988).

Subsequently I headed Joint Rapporteurs on Low External Input Agriculture nominated in Madrid that reported to the Xth Session of CAgM in Florence (Stigter et al., 1992). The reported results and problems were also based on my own African research that was more and more carried out within the actual livelihood of farmers, to create direct solutions to farmers’ problems (Mungai et al., 1996). The updated contemporary history of this new approach to applied agrometeorology, that my associates and I practiced and theoretically further developed, has earlier been deposited on the INSAM website (Stigter, 2006a).

This narrates how agrometeorological services got a new perspective between the two CAgM sessions in Accra (Ghana, in 1999) and Ljubljana (Slovenia, in 2002), culminating in the conceptual and diagnostic framework officially presented for the first time in 2002 in Ljubljana (Stigter et al., 2005a) and then at several occasions after that event. This was among others done in 2002 in the Gambia (Stigter, 2004a), in 2003 in Washington (Stigter, 2003a), in 2004 in Fukuoka (Stigter, 2005) and Manila (Murthy and Stigter, 2005) and in a generalized form in 2005 in a farewell lecture at Wageningen University and an invited lecture in Khartoum (Stigter, 2006b).

It was also used in its original form at the second CAgM Management Group meeting in Guaruja (Brazil), to propose and defend the training of intermediaries between the agrometeorological products developed by NMHSs as well as Research Institutes/Universities and users, for client friendly transfer and assistance in use (Stigter et al., 2005b). An updated Guest Editorial in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology closes this sequence (Stigter, 2006c). In the end it became central in WMO (2010) and Stigter (2010).  The contemporary history of a new approach to applied agrometeorology was followed by proposed contents of what would become Stigter (2010), where agrometeorological services would be the starting point for dealing with applied agrometeorology (Stigter, 2006a).

Definitions and examples

All agrometeorological and agroclimatological information that can be directly applied to try to improve and/or protect the livelihood of farmers in agricultural production, so yield quantity & quality and income, while safeguarding the agricultural resource base from degradation, may be considered to belong to agrometeorological services (e.g. Stigter, 1999; Murthy and Stigter, 2005; Stigter, 2006a).

Good examples of such services, including the set-up of pilot projects for on-farm validations, which may be abstracted from the WMO/CAgM Accra and Ljubljana Workshops (Sivakumar et al., 2000; Salinger et al., 2005) are (e.g. Murthy and Stigter, 2005; Stigter, 2006a):

  • the products of agroclimatological characterization, obtained with whatever methodologies;
  • advises such as in design rules on above and below ground microclimate management or manipulation, with respect to any appreciable microclimatic improvement: shading, wind protection, mulching, other surface modification, drying, storage, frost protection etc.;
  • advisories based on the outcome of response farming exercises, from sowing window to harvesting time, using climatic variability data & statistics of a recent past or simple on-line agrometeorological information;
  • establishing measures reducing the impacts and mitigating the consequences of weather and climate related natural disasters for agricultural production;
  • monitoring and early warning exercises directly connected to such already established measures in agricultural production, to reduce the impacts and to mitigate the consequences of weather and climate related natural disasters for agricultural production;
  • climate predictions and forecasts and meteorological forecasts for agriculture and related activities, on a variety of time scales, from years to seasons and weeks, and from a variety of sources;
  • development and validation of adaptation strategies to increasing climate variability and climate change and other changing conditions in the physical, social and economic environments of the livelihood of farmers;
  • specific weather forecasts for agriculture, including warnings for suitable conditions for pests and diseases and/or advises on countervailing measures;
  • advises on measures reducing the contributions of agricultural production to global warming and keeping an optimum level of non-degraded land dedicated to agricultural production;
  • proposing means of direct agrometeorological assistance to management of natural resources for development of sustainable farming systems in technological advances with strong agrometeorological components.

One of the conclusions in Ljubljana was that the main issues at present are how to make better use of the existing information and to disperse knowledge to the farm level (Salinger et al., 2005). It was also again concluded that agrometeorologists must play an important role in assisting farmers as well as policy makers with the development of feasible coping strategies (see also Salinger et al., 2000). This is true for nearly all countries but developing countries are particularly vulnerable.

Capacity Building

Actual progress in getting more agrometeorological services established and used in the livelihood of farmers can only be made in dissemination of these ideas and in capacity building to get agrometeorologists familiar with the existing needs.  Several approaches are possible for such capacity building. In China we follow the road of the establishment of pilot projects (Stigter et al., 2006). Training of the above already mentioned intermediaries is an additional approach to be advocated (Stigter et al., 2005b). Roving seminars would again be another attempt. In fact combining these approaches is the real road to making things happening.

It should be noted from abundant reports in local and international newspapers that recently new policies, showing fresh planning in areas as diverse as Africa (through UN and other donor interventions, e.g. Stigter et al., 2005c), India, China and Latin America (all three in new government efforts), aim at bridging the gaps between richer and poorer parts of their populations on a global, continental, country and rural regional scale.

The new funds pledged internationally and nationally are specially meant to improve the services climate in rural areas. It is here that we should policy wise clamp on to, with an approach to capacity building for improved establishment and use of agrometeorological services.

Roving seminars

I gained experience between 1995 and 2005, through multiple participative and interactive lectures in Africa (four countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania), Hanoi, China (more than 15 institutes throughout the country), Indonesia (8 institutes throughout the country and at one of them six times), India (8 institutes in four cities), Bangkok, Manila (presented by Dr. Murthy), and Fukuoka, as well as at several international conferences outside Asia and two WMO/CAgM Management Group meetings. This developed a feeling for the needs and possibilities for agrometeorological services and for the required policies to establish them (Stigter, 2006a; 2006c). Of course I illustrated the principles derived for the rural areas largely with my own experiences over the years and from the abundant literature my associates and I collected.

I used this experience to develop two one week courses suitable for roving seminars. The first one was tried out in a Training Course in November 2005 in Tehran, Iran, with the title “Agrometeorological Services: Theory and Practice”. The report on this educational happening can be found on the INSAM website (Rahimi 2005). The lectures given are dealt with below. The complete list of where this Roving Seminar was held is in Appendix I. It was given, together with another Seminar, “Agrometeorology and Sustainable Development” from 2005 till 2012, but it was gradually replaced by new Roving Seminars developed from 2011 till 2015 (Appendix I). Now that this Roving Seminar has become part of the history of agrometeorology, I was advised to bring it on line with all PowerPoint presentations it contained (that will be made available on ResearchGate).

Agrometeorological services: theory and practice

My Roving Seminars exist of an Introduction and 8 presentations, normally given in eight half days. After each lecture there is time for questions and answers. After each presentation, breakaway groups discuss a question related to the lecture (Appendix II for this Roving Seminar). Then each group reports to a plenary meeting of the audience and a general discussion closes that half a day. The presentations and the material used for making them are given below with the references concerned. They are all based on the experience of my associates and myself in combining agrometeorology and agroclimatology approaches in solving problems as climate services in agriculture.

Presentation 1: Zoning & mapping as agrometeorological services in developing countries. Based on a Workshop paper (Stigter and Al-Amin, 2006).

Presentation 2: Farming systems, agrometeorology and agrometeorological services. Based on a wide and abundantly exemplified definition of agricultural meteorology developed for Eijkelkamp Agrisearch BV, and on parts of a paper presented in Beijing (Stigter, 2003b).

Presentation 3: The place of agrometeorological services in the livelihood of farmers. Based on parts of the above Beijing paper (under presentation 2) and introductional parts of the Banjul paper (Stigter, 2004a). For this lecture I made also use of a blog written for the INSAM website on three main conclusions from recommendations of a meeting of Health Ministers and a parallel one of NGOs in Mexico on funding health services research and what applies of these conclusions to funding of agrometeorological services research (Stigter, 2004b).

Presentation 4: Agrometeorological services for user communities, some lessons learned. This lecture was based on the remainder of the above mentioned Banjul paper (Stigter, 2004a) and experience obtained in involvement of a few years (1999 – 2005) in research at the Wuchuan Experiment Station, Inner Mongolia, China. Parts of these results can be found in Zheng Dawei et al. (2005) and Zhao Caixia et al. (2006).

Presentation 5: Using traditional methods and indigenous technologies for coping with climate variability. This lecture was based on the Ljubljana paper (Stigter et al., 2005a).

Presentation 6: Research and reality. The first half of this lecture was based on parts of a course developed in Bogor, Indonesia, from the results of the African TTMI-Project, also resulting in a discussion on where to take care of in the writing of project proposals. The second half illustrates the derived principles with the reality of a project in Nigeria of which the most relevant parts of the results have been published in Onyewotu et al. (2003a; 2003b; 2004).

Presentation 7: Policies and preparedness. This lecture was based on Stigter et al. (2003).

Presentation 8: Agrometeorological services making a difference for poor farmers. I. Why it does not happen. II. How it can be done. These closing lectures are based on several unpublished invited contributions written for conferences that were postponed (Abuja), for which no money could be found for my attendance (Buenos Aires, Havana) or that after all clashed with other commitments (Jakarta). An invited review paper (Stigter et al., 2005d) contains rather some of that material from Africa in another context.

 

The conclusion of the early Roving Seminars has been that these educational commitments were suitable to get people aware of the necessities of further establishment and use of climate services for agriculture, making use of policy trends of improved services climates in rural areas for which funds appear to become available, at least in some countries. Particularly due to the events related to climate change, this Seminar had relevancy to all emerging countries (Stigter et al., 2007; Stigter, 2008; 2010; 2011).  

 

References

  1. Mungai, D.N., Stigter, C.J., Ng'ang'a, J.K., Coulson, C. (1996) New approach in research education to solve problems of dryland farming in Africa. Arid Soil Research and Rehabilitation 10, pp. 169-177.
  2. Murthy, V.R.K., Stigter, C.J. (2005) Operational agrometeorological services for extension needs and the supportive role of agricultural research. Pp. 199-208 in: Strengthening Operational Agrometeorological Services at the National Level, Proceedings of a Regional Meeting, Manila, Philippines. AGM-9, WMO/TD-No. 1277, WMO. Geneva. Also on-line on the WMO/CAgM website. http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/agm/publications/images/agm9cover.jpg
  3. Onyewotu, L., Stigter, K., Abdullahi, Y., Ariyo, J. (2003a) Shelterbelts and farmers’ needs. LEISA Magazine on Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture 19 (4), pp. 28-29.
  4. Onyewotu, L.O.Z., Stigter, C.J., Abdullahi, A.M., Ariyo, J.A., Oladipo, E.O., Owonubi, J.J. (2003b) Reclamation of desertified farmlands and consequences for its farmers in semiarid northern Nigeria: a case study of Yambawa rehabilitation scheme. Arid Land Research and Management 17, pp. 85–101.
  5. Onyewotu, L.O.Z., Stigter, C.J., Oladipo E.O., Owonubi, J.J. (2004) Air movement and its consequences around a multiple shelterbelt system under advective conditions in semi-arid northern Nigeria. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 79, pp. 255–262.
  6. Rahimi, M. (2005) Agrometeorological Services: Theory and Practice. INSAM website. http://www.agrometeorology.org/topics/needs-for-agrometeorological-solutions-to-farming-problems/agrometeorological-services-theory-and-practice-final-report/, accessed on 8 March 2015.
  7. Sivakumar, M.V.K., Stigter, C.J., Rijks, D.A. (Eds.) (2002) Agrometeorology in the 21st Century – Needs and Perspectives. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology (Special Issue) 103, 227 pp.
  8. Salinger, M.J., Stigter, C.J., Das, H.P. (2000) Agrometeorological adaptation strategies to increasing climate variability and climate change. In: M.V.K. Sivakumar, C.J. Stigter & D.A. Rijks (Eds.), Agricultural and Forest Meteorology (Special Issue) 103, 167-184.
  9. Salinger, M.J., Sivakumar M.V.K., Motha, R. P. (Eds.) (2005) Reducing vulnerability of agriculture and forestry to climate variability and climate change. Climatic Change (Special Issue) 70, 362 pp.
  10. Stigter, C.J. (1982) Environmental physics, agricultural research and development. Inaugural Lecture on having been nominated Full Professor of Physics (in agriculture) in 1978. Inaugural Lecture Series No. 30, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 54 pp.
  11. Stigter, C.J. (1988) Microclimate management and manipulation in traditional farming. CAgM Report Nr. 25, WMO/TD-No. 228. WMO, Geneva, 20 pp. + 6 Appendices.
  12. Stigter, C.J. (1999) The future of agrometeorology: perspectives in science and services. WMO-Bulletin, 48, 353-359.
  13. Stigter, C.J. (2003a) Support systems in policy making for agrometeorological services: bringing the work of CAgM OPAGs, ICTs and ETs in a diagnostic and conceptual framework for action support. Policy paper for the first meeting of the Management Group of CAgM in Washington DC. WMO, Geneva. INSAM website. http://www.agrometeorology.org/topics/needs-for-agrometeorological-solutions-to-farming-problems/support-systems-in-policy-making-for-agrometeorological-services-bringing-the-work-of-cagm-opags-icts-and-ets-in-a-diagnostic-and-conceptual-framework-for-action-support
  14. Stigter, K. (2003b) The future of education, training and extension in agricultural meteorology: a new approach. In: Zheng Dawei et al. (Eds.), The Future of Education and Training in Agrometeorology in China, Proceedings of a Workshop, Beijing.
  15. Stigter, C.J. (2004a) The establishment of needs for climate forecasts and other agromet information for agriculture by local, national and regional decision-makers and users communities.  In: Applications of Climate Forecasts for Agriculture. Proceedings of the RA I (Africa) Expert Group Meeting in Banjul, the Gambia (December 2002). AGM-7/WCAC-1, WMO/TD-No. 1223, WMO, Geneva (pp 73 – 86).
  16. Stigter, C.J. (2004b) Beyond better funding for agrometeorological research. INSAM website. http://www.agrometeorology.org/topics/agromet-market-place/beyond-better-funding-for-agrometeorological-research
  17. Stigter, C.J. (2005) Building stones of agrometeorological services: adaptation strategies based on farmer innovations, functionally selected contemporary science and understanding of prevailing policy environments. Opening key note lecture at the FPEC Symposium, Fukuoka, Japan. Journal of Agricultural Meteorology (Japan), 60, pp. 525–528.
  18. Stigter, C.J. (2006a) A contemporary history of a new approach to applied agrometeorology. INSAM website. http://www.agrometeorology.org/topics/history-of-agrometeorology/a-contemporary-history-of-a-new-approach-to-applied-agrometeorology
  19. Stigter, C.J. (2006b) No policies, no cure: why the marginal farmers that need our agrometeorological support most are nowhere getting it. Farewell lecture Wageningen University, 14 April 2005. In a modified form (as presented at the Institute for Studies of the Future in Khartoum on 23 April 2005) under the title “Scientific research in Africa in the 21st century, in need of a change of approach”. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 1, pp. 4-8.
  20. Stigter, C.J. (2006c) From basic agrometeorological science to agrometeorological services and information for agricultural decision makers: a simple conceptual and diagnostic framework. Appeared as a guest editorial in 2007 in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 142, pp. 91 – 95.
  21. Stigter, C.J. (2008) Agrometeorology from science to extension: Assessment of needs and provision of services. A Review. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 126, pp 153-157.
  22. Stigter, K. (Ed.) (2010) Applied Agrometeorology. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg/New York etc., xxxviii + 1101 pp.
  23. Stigter, C.J. (2011) Agrometeorological services: Reaching all farmers with operational information products in new educational commitments. CAgM Report 104, WMO, Geneva, 37 pp.
  24. Stigter, C.J., Al-Amin, N.K.N. (2006) Zoning and mapping as agrometeorological services in developing countries: preconditions and requirements in a checklist for action. Paper presented at the COST/FAO/WMO/IBIMET Workshop on Climatic Analysis and Mapping for Agriculture, Bologna, June 2005.
  25. Stigter, C.J. (Ed.) with contributions from Karing, P.H., Stigter, C.J., Wanlong Chen, Wilken, G.C. (1992) Application of microclimate management and manipulation techniques in low external input agriculture. CAgM Report No. 43, WMO/TD-No. 499, WMO, Geneva, 192 pp.
  26. Stigter, C.J., Das, H.P., Murthy, V.R.K. (2003) Beyond climate forecasting of flood disasters. Invited Lecture on the Opening Day of the Fifth Regional Training Course on Flood Risk Management (FRM-5) of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (Bangkok) and the China Research Center on Flood and Drought Disaster Reduction (Beijing), Beijing, September. Available from ADPC (Bangkok) on CD-ROM. Available on ResearchGate.
  27. Stigter, C.J., Zheng Dawei, Onyewotu, L.O.Z., Mei Xurong (2005a) Using traditional methods and indigenous technologies for coping with climate variability. Climatic Change, 70, pp. 255-271.
  28. Stigter, K. (Ed.), with contributions from Barrie, I., Chan, A., Gommes, R., Lomas, J., Milford, J., Ravelo, A., Stigter, K., Walker, S., Wang, S., Weiss, A. (2005b) Support systems in policy making for agrometeorological services: The role of intermediaries. http://www.agrometeorology.org/files-folder/repository/support_system.pdf
  29. Stigter, C.J., Onyewotu, L.O.Z., Al-Amin, N.K.N. (2005c) Wind and agriculture; an essential subject of the African Participatory Research Agenda. Paper #103 in: J. Naprstek, C. Fischer (Eds.), The Fourth European & African Conference on Wind Engineering. ITAMAS, Prague, 11 pp. [Also in Book of Extended Abstracts, pp. 306 – 307.]
  30. Stigter, C.J., Oteng’i, S.B.B., Oluwasemire, K.O., Al-amin, N.K.N., Kinama, J.M., Onyewotu, L.O.Z. (2005d). Recent answers to farmland degradation illustrated by case studies from African farming systems. Ann. Arid Zone 44(3), pp. 255-276.
  31. Stigter, C.J., Oluwasemire, K.O., Onyewotu, L.O.Z. Oteng'i, S.B.B., Kinama, J.M., Zheng Dawei, Zhao Caizia, Zhang Yingcui, Murthy, V.R.K., Rashidi, A.G.M., Abdalla, A.T., Al-amin, Nawal K.N., Bakheit, N.I. (2006) Agrometeorological services making a difference for poor farmers. II. How it can be done. Paper prepared for presentation at the National Policy Workshop "Meeting Nigeria's Food Security and Agricultural Export Target - the Weather Factor", Abuja, Nigeria, 10 pp.
  32. Stigter, C.J., Tan Ying, Das, H.P., Zheng Dawei, Rivero Vega, R.E., Van Viet, Nguyen, Bakheit, N.I., Abdullahi, Y.M. (2007) Complying with farmers’ conditions and needs using new weather and climate information approaches and technologies. In: Sivakumar, M.V.K., Motha, R. (Eds), Managing Weather and Climate Risks in Agriculture. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp. 171-190.
  33. WMO (1983) Microclimate management and manipulation in traditional farming. Document 15, item “Land use and agricultural management systems under severe climatic conditions”. Official Report of the VIIIth session of CAgM in Geneva, WMO, Geneva.
  34. WMO (2010) Guide to Agricultural Meteorological Practices, WMO, 134. http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/agm/gamp/gamp_en.php
  35. Zhao Caixia, Zheng Dawei, Stigter, C.J., He Wenqing, Tuo Debao, Zhao Peiyi (2006) An index guiding temporal planting policies for wind erosion reduction. Arid Land Research and Management 20, pp. 233 - 244.
  36. Zheng Dawei, Zhao Ju, Tuo Debao, Stigter, C.J. (2005) Reversing land degradation from wind erosion in Inner Mongolia: the choice between grass and bush restoration or conservation tillage of contour strip plantings depends on hill slopes and rainfall. Journal of Agricultural Meteorology (Japan) 60, pp. 337–341.


Appendix I

LIST OF ROVING SEMINARS BY PROF. KEES STIGTER (2005 – 2015)

Nr. 1: Agrometeorological Services, Theory and Practice

Nr. 2: Agrometeorology and Sustainable Developmen

Nr. 3: Reaching farmers in a changing climate

Nr. 4: Extension agrometeorology (developed for Iran)

Nr. 5: What climate change means for farmers in Africa (developed for Africa)

Nr. 6: Agroforestry and climate change      

 

 

Total now: 37, of which four trials (2006, 2007, 2011, 2015), in 13 countries.

 

 

Appendix II

 

QUESTIONS FOR THE DISCUSSION GROUPS OF COURSE 1, AGROMETEOROLOGICAL SERVICES: THEORY AND PRACTICE

 

Lecture 1

 

Table 1 in Stigter and Al-amin summarizes preconditions and requirements for agrometeorological services in developing countries.

 

Summary of preconditions

 

  • knowing poor farmers’ needs the way they see them
  • appropriate problem selection, together with decision makers for whom agrometeorological services have to be developed
  • knowing regional details of the research questions encountered
  • appropriate knowledge selection, to develop the required applied research focused on services
  • best level trustable science

 

 

Summary of requirements

 

  • liaisons with farmers, related NGOs and other related decision makers on what they did (traditional prepared-ness, coping and adaptation strategies), what they can do and what they want to do within the policy environment for agrometeorological services (disaster preparedness and mitigation; land use improvement)
  • to determine appropriate policy environments for action on agrometeorological services, what can be done within the present policy environment (preparedness), and what policies may be necessary in the future for the agrometeorological services to be applied
  • relevant basic policy decisions underlaying the research requests
  • best use of relevant basic operational research results obtained elsewhere
  • best operational use of basic data
  • appropriate basic quality education (in agrometeorology) 

 

 

Question 1

 

For your present or future work/research, could you identify and discuss the first and second most important preconditions and requirements that you feel are (may be) insufficiently fulfilled?

 

(Two of five preconditions respectively two of six requirements)

 

 

Lectures 2 + 3

 

In order to create an appropriate B-domain for problem solving in the A domain, Lomas and Stigter independently have concluded that two factors stand out in preventing this

 

providers of scientific products do not co-operate with extension services;

the user community, including the extension services, are insufficiently trained in problem solving.

 

 

Question 2

 

Can you discuss your experience with these two issues, even if it is only from “hear say”?

 

 

 

Lecture 3

 

We discussed during this lecture a parallel between health (research) related issues and agriculture (research) related issues. Two of these issues were:

 

 

determine the best ways to get existing products to those who need them most;

put public health decisions in the hands of better-informed officials who are able to work with leaders at a community level to more efficiently implement findings.

 

 

Question 3

 

What is the situation in agricultural research, particularly agrometeorology? Do you recognize this?

 

 

 

Lecture 4

 

In the lecture we have drawn the following lessons learned:

 

Lesson 1

 

An emergency technology “was appropriated and pressed into service of a policy making apparatus designed to reduce the impacts of severe droughts”. Policy makers started to exaggerate the potential usefulness of the science product, “therefore creating a situation of cultural dissonance between science and local knowledge and belief systems that quickly eroded the value of the information”.

 

 

Lesson 2

 

A second lesson drawn was the failure that the government wanted to use the forecast to manage agriculture for the farmers, particularly by interfering in the availability of seeding material, instead of leaving decisions on planning etc. to the farmers. This gave unnecessary resentment and has recently been abandoned.

 

 

Lesson 3

 

The third lesson that the authors of this case study want to draw is “that the forecast is limited by the socio-economic conditions of the beneficiary population”. Most farmers in Cereá are so vulnerable to climatic variability that they are unable to respond to raw climatic predictions (E1 information), irrespective of the quality and the precision of the forecast.

 

 

Lesson 4 (drawn by the present author)

 

Other agrometeorological services may be much more important under such conditions. Only very specific forecasts geared to the actual conditions and to the most serious problems of farmers of the different categories of vulnerability distinguished may make a chance in the nearest future.

 

 

Lesson 5

 

The authors of the case study indicate that the researchers have now changed their focus from items around the start of the rainy season to studies of dry spells and pre-season weather/climate patterns (response farming, easing preparations).

 

 

Lesson 6

 

The authors conclude overall that in the Cereá case study, the limits of the use of climate information in policy making derive in part from the levels of skill and direct usefulness of the science products themselves and in part from the necessity for a policy making apparatus to learn how to apply it usefully, in this case to drought mitigation in the A-domain.

 

 

Lesson 7

 

In comparison to farming communities, the authors’ assessments for the future give a more positive outlook for success with the use of forecasting products for “intermediate” organizations (!!):

 

-- policy making government extension programs;

-- drought relief organizations;

-- water resource management bodies;

-- infrastructure planning and maintenance institutions.

 

 

Question 4

 

Which lesson do you find the most important and why?

 

 

 

Lecture 5

 

The main issue of this presentation is that development of agrometeorological services may be based on traditional methods and indigenous technologies.

 

 

Question 5

 

Do you know examples from your country and/or southern Africa?

Explain what they are and how they are used.

 

 

 

Lecture 6

 

The Nigerian case study (Ph.D.-thesis of Dr. Onyewotu) has hard science in air movement studies and soft science in farmer rehabilitation studies.

 

 

Question 6

 

Would you be able to find examples in which this complementarity worked or could work?

 

Think about examples from your own experience.

 

Explain the way the hard and soft science can work together in your examples.

 

 

 

Lecture 7

 

Better preparedness for flood disasters with agrometeorological components was compared with a new earthquake preparedness approach from Japan. Support systems in agricultural meteorology should contribute to create services with agrometeorological components preparing farmers much better for damage reduction to crops and resource base before floods strike.

 

 

Question 7

 

Is such an approach feasible? Would it apply to drought in southern Africa? To other calamities?

 

 

 

Lecture 8

 

The research examples provided were at the basis of the diagnostic and conceptual frame work I designed. However, shortcomings and missing links were also identified.

 

 

Question 8

 

This course was on theory and practice. The missing link in practice was often identified as dissemination and absorption of results at the farm level

(so: well informed extension able to train farmers). Would Climate Field Schools solve this problem?

Document Actions
  • Share on Facebook
  • Print this