Caribbean agrometeorological project receives 1 million Euros
The European Union’s African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States Science and Technology Programme awarded one million Euros for the implementation of a new project entitled "Caribbean Agrometeorological Initiative (CAMI)." Developed jointly by the Agricultural Meteorology Division of WMO and the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, the project will help 10 Caribbean countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad.
The overall objective of CAMI is to increase and sustain agricultural productivity at the farm level in the Caribbean region through improved applications of weather and climate information, using an integrated and coordinated approach.
The specific objectives are to assist the farming community through provision of information on predictors of the rainy season potential and development of effective pest and disease forecasting systems for improved on-farm management decisions. It includes preparation and wide diffusion of a user-friendly weather and climate information newsletter and organization of regular forums with the farming community and agricultural extension agencies. Theses forums aim to enhance understanding of the applications of weather and climate information and to obtain feedback on products needed by the farming community from the meteorological services.
The idea for CAMI developed during the WMO Roving Seminar on the Application of Climate Data for Desertification Control, Drought Preparedness and Management of Sustainable Agriculture in the Caribbean Region, which was held at the Antigua and Barbuda International Institute of Technology in St. Georges, Antigua from 21 to 29 April 2004. The Chief of the Agricultural Meteorology Division of WMO organized several brainstorming sessions with agrometeorologists from the 10 Caribbean countries to discuss the important services needed by farmers in their countries and the critical issues related to the production and use of weather and climate information in the Caribbean region. Discussions centered on how agrometeorological applications could be improved. Agrometeorological services needed in different countries were identified and prioritized, leading to the development of CAMI.