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New weather forecasting system launched for Bangladeshi farmers

UNB || BusinessInsider

Published: 09:30, 28 March 2023   Update: 10:10, 28 March 2023
New weather forecasting system launched for Bangladeshi farmers

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A new weather forecasting system titled ‘Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal Forecasting for Agriculture in Bangladesh’ has been launched to help farmers decide their production plans. 

The scheme has been implemented in collaboration with the ‘Department of Agriculture Extension’ and ‘Bangladesh Meteorological Department’ for providing accurate and up-to-date weather information to farmers under the ‘Agro-Meteorological Information Systems Development project.

The new weather forecasting system was launched at the Bangabandhu Military Museum’s Multipurpose Hall at Bijay Sarani in the capital on Monday.

Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akhtar was the chief guest on the occasion.

Through this system, farmers will get weather forecast for the next four weeks to three months, which will help them make production decisions based on the weather pattern.

Weather Impact and Wageningen University and two renowned Dutch institutes in partnership with the Digital Innovation for Impact (Dii) led the development of the system supported by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI).

Speakers at the inauguration highlighted that this automatic forecasting system will be a breakthrough for agriculture.

They said that currently, farmers usually get weather forecasts 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 practices to protect their crops from any adverse weather situation.

In her speech, Wahida Akhtar 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”.

“This forecasting system is beneficial not only for our farmers but also for the entire value chain of the agriculture sector,” she added.

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.

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.”

He said the active cooperation of the DAE, the BMD and long-term efforts of international research institutes to implement this scheme is commendable.

Under the chairmanship of Azizur Rahman, director of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), Senior Policy Advisor of the Netherlands Embassy Osman Haruni, Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Bakhtiar and Director General of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Badal Chandra Biswas were also present at the event.

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