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Overview of the Agricultural Meteorology Programme

Purpose and scope

The purpose of the Agricultural Meteorology Programme (AGMP) is to support food and agricultural production and activities. The Programme assists Members in provision of meteorological and related services to the agricultural community to help develop sustainable and economically viable agricultural systems, improve production and quality, reduce losses and risks, decrease costs, increase efficiency in the use of water, labour and energy, conserve natural resources and decrease pollution by agricultural chemicals or other agents that contribute to the degradation of the environment. Although sometimes combined, climate information is used mainly for planning purposes, while recent weather data and weather forecasts are used mostly in current agricultural operations.

Main long-term objectives

The main long-term objectives are:

(i) To promote economically viable and high quality production so that it can be sustainable and environment-friendly by strengthening Members' indigenous capabilities to provide relevant meteorological services to agricultural and other related sectors;

(ii) To foster a better understanding by farmers and other end-users in the agricultural, forestry and related sectors of the value and use of meteorological (including climatological) information in planning and operational activities.

Programme organization

The Programme consists of six projects the scope of which corresponds to the terms of reference of the WMO Commission for Agricultural Meteorology (CAgM) which provides scientific and technical support for the implementation of the Agricultural Meteorology Programme.

Current status

Agrometeorology, as an applied science, is less than fifty years old. It is operationally used by individual farmers in a dozen developed countries, and by agricultural or development services in more than half the countries of the world. Its contribution to agricultural production forecasting is sought in virtually all countries. In many countries, governments have expressed the desire to use meteorological information to a much larger extent in day-to-day farm planning and operations. Application to animal husbandry, fisheries and forestry sectors needs to be strengthened considerably. Basic knowledge about practical application of meteorology in agriculture exists but needs to be adapted for local use. Awareness of the economic benefits and practical possibilities of its use need to be increased among information producers, disseminators and users.

The current training efforts are insufficient to satisfy the requirements, especially for Class I and II agricultural meteorologists, and at the higher technical levels.

 

 

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