On May 4, RIMES organized a webinar to provide an overview of Decision Support Systems (DSS) for agricultural risk management and decision-making. About 40 individuals attended the webinar, including staff from RIMES, ADPC and World Bank, and government officials working in the agriculture sector in South Asia.
South Asia is an agrarian society with 70% of the region’s population working in the agriculture sector. However, agriculture in the region is vulnerable to climate change. Therefore, adaptation measures, like DSS, are useful to decision-making on how to sustain agricultural productivity, reduce vulnerability, and enhance the resilience of agricultural systems to climate change.
In farming, there is a need for information about the climate to minimize impact and maximize gains.
In his opening speech, A R Subbiah, Director of RIMES, said, “In farming, there is a need for information about the climate to minimize impact and maximize gains. With the DSS, data will be processed and useful information will be generated to make decisionmakers and farmers better informed about climate-induced agricultural risks.”
There is a need to create a system that can assimilate information on a real-time basis and dynamically render risk scenarios
To make the DSS more effective, Dr Govindarajalu Srinivasan, Chief Scientist for Climate Applications of RIMES, emphasized the need to create a system that can assimilate information on a real-time basis and dynamically render risk scenarios. “This will lead to climate resilience, sustainability and disaster risk reduction,” he added.
In the webinar, three-country cases were presented to show examples of agromet systems used in some countries in South Asia.
Dr Md Shah Kamal Khan presented the Bangladesh Agro-Meteorological Information System (BAMIS). He said, “BAMIS is the government-approved agromet service provider in Bangladesh. The agromet system has both web and mobile app versions, and more and more people are using it. We disseminate agromet advisories using different tools, like national- and district-level bulletins, SMS, voice messages, emails, social media, website and mass media.”
In Bhutan, Tshering Wangchen informed that his country has launched this year the Agromet Decision Support System (ADSS), which disseminates crop advisories for specific locations and crops using a machine learning algorithm. “The agromet system is relatively new so there is a need to prioritize the capacity-building of staff and the quality of data generated by the system,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Kamalesh Kumar Singh showed the economic benefits of weather advisories to farmers in India. “A study conducted in 2019 by the National Centre for Applied Economic Research found that 80% out of 3,965 Indian farmers who received weather advisories had reduced their losses in agriculture. Moreover, an additional annual income of 12,500 rupees (170 US dollars) was generated per agricultural household belonging to the below-poverty category and living in a rain-fed area”, he said.
Thanks to all participants of our May 4 webinar, “Decision Support System (DSS) for Understanding and Reducing Climate Risks”, under the #CAREforSouthAsia project with support from @WorldBank. Presentation slides may be downloaded here: https://t.co/j4TYJQZKZP pic.twitter.com/LTxF48iibd— RIMES (@RIMES_news) May 18, 2021
The webinar, entitled Role of DSS in Climate Induced Agricultural Risk Management, is the second of the webinar series Decision Support System (DSS) for Understanding and Reducing Climate Risks. The first webinar was held in March to provide an overview of DSS and its application in agriculture risk management, water resource management, transport, and disaster management.
The webinars are organized to support the CARE for South Asia project, implemented by RIMES and ADPC, and funded by the World Bank. The project supports countries in South Asia, particularly Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, to build climate resilience by improving the availability of regional climate information and analytics, to develop sector-specific climate resilience guidelines, tools and capacities, and to promote climate-resilience decisions, policies and investments.