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Reinforcing Community Trust and Relationship through Climate Information Services in Bangladesh Delta

Written by: Mister (Mr) Uthpal Kumar
Published: Monday, September 6, 2021
Thumbnail Reinforcing Community Trust and Relationship through Climate Information Services in Bangladesh Delta

The Waterapps Project aims to improve hydroclimatic information services with and for smallholder farmers in peri-urban Khulna, Bangladesh. The Department of Agricultural Extension was primarily involved in Waterapps. Mr. Jibananda Roy, a Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer (SAAO) recently received “Bangabandhu National Agriculture Award 1424” for his devoted work with farming communities in Batiaghata, Khulna. Climate information services, training for organic farming, and vermin-compost production at farm households are some good work of Mr. Roy on which he owns the Most Prestigious Award. Since 2017 he has been actively working for ‘Farmers Weather Club’ to support farmers with location-specific weather and climate information services. We congratulate and encourage Mr. Jibananda Roy for his active support to Waterapps farmers in the most vulnerable hydroclimatic zone of the Bangladesh Delta.  

 

Mr. Jibananda Roy Congratulations on your great success – Bangabandhu National Agriculture Award 1424! Mr. Roy received Award from Agriculture Minister Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, MP.

Mr. Roy has received the award for the promotion of environmentally friendly organic agricultural practices among smallholders in Batiaghata, Khulna. Now he is a well-known extension officer in his department for “Farmers Weather Club”. He works differently than others do in his department. He said future agriculture must be adjusted ICT technology-based services, organic farming for business scale farming, and climate-SMART. He was inspired a lot more when Waterapp brings new technology for weather and climate information services. Advance climate services were unknown to farmers and extension agents at the field level. Therefore, initially many of them were heavily curious and confused as well. Farmers said that Weather must be a “God Phenomen” – and we can not predict that much advance. Initially, farmers and extension officers were used to sitting weekly for getting weather and climate information with two groups of farmers having 25-30 farmers in each group. Besides, colleagues of Mr. Jibananda Roy also shared forecasts information in their respective agricultural blocks (small area). The most important thing to keep engaged farmers is to follow the scientific forecast and organic cultivation practices. In the coming days, food production and food safety are the key issues to reduce poverty, nutritional security, and climate action.

   

 

Waterapps farmers group at Batighata congratulate Mr. Jibananda Roy with a crest for receiving the “Bangabandhu National Agriculture Award 1424”

What is the key difference between national climate information services and Waterapps weather and climate services? Mr. Roy said time and location specificity, amount of rainfall, probability, and predictability have shown in a single diagram. Besides, forecast visualization and interpretation skills gained through weekly training and interaction sessions were unique in Waterapps. According to Mr. Roy, the main thing is that Waterapps bring a behavioral change of farmers and local extension officers towards forecasts. It can not be achieved with a few interactions and a defined time-scheduled of a field officer. He invests additional time to interact with communities and engaged them in an iterative process to build farmers' trust in scientific forecasts and collected feedbacks. Slowly it improved farmers' decision-making and built awareness of farmers which is not an easy task and single-step task. Waterapps significantly addressed farmers' needs and their decision-making process through a participatory co-production process.

Farmers in Batiagahta now follow climate information from the “Weather Club”. They also combine their traditional knowledge with scientific forecasts to take appropriate decision-making. It helps them to reduce their farm management costs by taking informed decisions. Also, it reduces input costs especially fertilizer and pesticides cost up to 25-50 percent. Women farmers play the most important tasks for crop processing and households scale agricultural activities. Climate information services also help them to be prepared their households and agricultural tasks smoothly. Now Waterapps is upscaling its services in five hydroclimatic hot spots in the Bangladesh Delta. We hope that Waterapps will contribute to resilient agricultural practices of farming communities in the Bangladesh Delta. 

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