Easier access to weather data for farmers pushed
Citing the results of recent studies on the experiences of farmers in Benguet, PIDS said they faced difficulties in using weather and climate information provided by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
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Easier access to weather data for farmers pushed

Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — State-run think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) is urging the weather bureau to ease barriers to access and utilization of its weather and climate information especially for farmers.

Citing the results of recent studies on the experiences of farmers in Benguet, PIDS said they faced difficulties in using weather and climate information provided by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The studies showed that Benguet farmers encounter difficulties in obtaining raw climate data from PAGASA’s website.

The lack of access to online channels, including social media and mobile applications, where the bulk of the agency’s data are available, also contributed to the gap.

In the absence of tailored weather and climate forecasts, farmers are unable to rapidly adapt.

This adds to other challenges that include lack of working capital, other resources, and know-how, and the absence of tailored weather and climate data.

In a webinar hosted by PIDS recently, Thelma Cinco, assistant weather services chief of PAGASA’s Impact Assessment and Applications Section, said the agency plans to enhance its radio-based information dissemination to improve the accessibility of its products and services.

Data showed that radio remains the major source of weather information among households in farming provinces like Benguet.

Another initiative pipelined by PAGASA is the conduct of regular information education campaigns and training for agricultural extension workers and farmers under the KlimAgricultura, organized in partnership with the Agricultural Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture.

The state weather bureau also plans to establish climate field schools and develop systematic and consistent dissemination of warning protocols.

In terms of utilization, Cinco said PAGASA would provide climate projections and hazard assessments that would help local government units formulate their local climate change action plans and comprehensive land use plans.

It will also develop plans for climate threats and establish a communication mechanism between farmers and extension workers. She also noted the importance of institutional linkages with civil society groups and international organizations to reach farmers.

PAGASA is also moving toward the use of impact-based forecasting, which focuses “not on what the weather will be, but what the weather will do”.

FARMERS PIDS
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