Farmers to benefit from weather advisories

Samoa’s farmers will soon be able to receive latest weather advisories and alerts as part of a Food and Agriculture Organisation [F.A.O.]-led climate adaptation project.

The F.A.O. of the United Nations is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry [M.A.F.], Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment [M.N.R.E.], and the University of South Pacific [U.S.P.] to develop a platform which will provide the relevant information aimed at assisting farmers better plan their crop production.

The proponents of the project recently met to discuss the establishment of agrometeorology [agromet] to assist local farmers save and protect their farms and crops from severe weather challenges. Agromet is the study and use of weather and climate information to assist farmers in increasing agricultural crops.

According to a media release issued by the U.N. agency, the F.A.O. Subregional Coordinator Eriko Hibi said the crux of the project is essentially to inform farmers of advisories, alerts and early warning systems that are essential for farmers and rural dwellers to prepare for and adapt to changes in the climate.

“Changes in seasonality, climate extremes and climate-driven pest and disease negatively impact agricultural production and rural livelihoods,” he said. “Informed advisories, alerts and robust early-warning systems are essential for farmers and rural dwellers to prepare for and adapt to changes in climate.”

Mr Hibi said the project aims to produce agromet bulletin services for Samoan farmers to use agromet information or advisories as well as to collect data.

The F.A.O. recently met with the M.A.F., M.N.R.E. and the U.S.P. at the Samoa Meteorology Division office at Mulinu’u to discuss progressing the initiative.

The F.A.O believes now is the time to utilise the process in the agriculture sector to provide agrometeorological information and alerts to those, who can benefit the most as a technology for monitoring and dissemination of information advances.

A similar project is being implanted in Nepal, Cambodia and Bhutan is part of a broader F.A.O. initiative called the Asia-Pacific Regional Programme on Agrometeorological Services, Pest and Disease Alerts and early warning systems for farmers.

The F.A.O. is an intergovernmental organisation that works in over 130 countries to help eliminate hunger and poverty.

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