Weather and climate are important factors determining the success or failure of agriculture. Weather influences agricultural operations from the sowing of a crop to the harvest and particularly rainfed agriculture depend on the mercy of the weather.
• It can be used in frost prediction and protection of crop plants.
• It can be used in giving the warning against the forest fires and cyclonic storm / dust storm.
• It is helpful in planning irrigation.
• It is helpful in predicting and controlling the insects and plant diseases.
• It is helpful in predicting and controlling the pollution of air and water
• It can be used to minimize the losses caused by heavy rain, floods and hail storm.
• It helps in forecasting pests and diseases, choice of crops, irrigation, and other intercultural operations through short, medium, and long-range forecasts and help to identify places with the same climatic conditions (Agro climatic zones). This will enable us to adopt suitable crop production practices based on the local climatic conditions.
• It also helps in the introduction of new crops and varieties, which are more productive than the native crops, and varieties and helps in the development of crop weather models, which enables to predict crop productivity under various climate.
• It helps within the preparation of crop weather calendars for various locations.
• It enables to issue crop weather bulletins to farmers and enables us to forecast the crop yield based on whether to plan and manage food production changes in a region.
• It is needed to make the farmers more “weather conscious” in planning their agricultural operations.
However, up-to-date equipment and enhanced skill for the staff is necessary to allow precise analysis and better presentation. Training the staff is another problem in addition to educating farmers. Closer contact with farmers is vital; it is very beneficial to train them at least to make field observations and collect and transmit data.
Therefore the department is obliged to hire long term agrometeorology expert/consultant for a period of eight months who will conduct the following:
• To capacitate the department for holding the following Assessments :
Agrometereology observatory gaps
Agrometereology Communication gaps
Enhancing the skill to analyze data coming from weather stations
• To prepare project proposal based on the outcome of these assessment
Assist the department to collect different data settings, analyze and record the data in proper manner.
• Assist the department to establish central data base in the country for storage and analysis of the data
• Assist the department to raise the standard of the weather stations to automatic weather stations.
• Assist the department to expand and cover of weather stations in the country
• Assist the department to Improve communication links and consider new facilities
• Assist the department to Provide training (short and long-term) and analytical tools (introduce and improve methodologies);
• Assist the department to update and strengthen information system and technology (computers, software, GIS technology, etc.) and data processing tools
• Initiate roving seminars; and, Improve bulletins and introduce automation of data collection, processing, and information transfer
• Create Early warning system strategies
• Help Improve weather information and monitoring equipment
• Help establish at least automatic station ( the location and the number will be determined later)
• Help establish Weather stations ( the location and the number will be determined later)
• Help provide early warning equipment
• Skill development for maintenance of the equipment
• Skill development for software and data base equipment
• Skills to determine crop weather relationship to avert pest outbreak and other advisories
• Skills to determine crop weather relationship to help increase crop yield and crop expansion
• Help to produce pest weather calendar
• Help early warning system skill established
He / she will be using the following indices to predict rainfall, drought, soil water balance for crop expansion etc.:
• Rainfall index
• Drought index
• Rangeland index
• Soil water balance index
• Specific Crop water requirement index
• Precipitation index
• Crop water satisfaction index
• And much more
After the consultant completes his/her task, the following are expected to be accomplished:
• Central data base with capacity to perform data analysis and storage established
• Produce agrometereological bulletins with early warning information
• Set of automatic weather stations established
• Set of weather stations established
• New facilities for communication created (collection, processing, and information transfer established)
• Capacitated with (computers, software, GIS technology, etc.) and more.
• Capacity to hold Seminars and workshops
• Establish Somaliland Agro-ecological zoning
• Farming systems ( which crop/variety to grow and where
• Crop calendar ( Sowing and harvesting periods of crops )
• Crop monitoring ( pest and disease out break
• Early warning
• Timing of fertiliser and pesticide application
• Time of harvest
• Early warning system skills, equipment and strategies established
Abdirahman Ibrahim Abdilahi