World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
The “Bangladesh Meteorological Department will upgrade and strengthen its network of agrometeorological observatories, so that it can provide more accurate and timely forecasts in order to increase agricultural production, reduce losses and decrease costs and thus help us in formulating sustainable development strategies for the future,” said Mr Md. Sirajul Islam, Secretary in the President’s Office of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh today while opening a national seminar on agrometeorology.
During the last few decades, Bangladesh’s population has been surging. This continued growth has resulted in a decrease in agricultural land, changes in land-use pattern, soil degradation and a lack of capacity to cope with natural disasters. Climate change will aggravate the situation, making Bangladesh’s climate-sensitive economy more vulnerable. To help, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is working with the Bangladesh Meteorological Department to optimize the country’s agrometeorological division. Today, WMO, along with the World Bank, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme, and other international organizations, is participating in a seminar in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to discuss the country’s need for improved weather and climate data in support of agriculture.
The existing meteorological, hydrological and agrometeorological services in Bangladesh do not have the capability to provide seasonal climate forecasts, especially because of the wide variations in flooding and droughts caused by monsoon rains.
About 80 per cent of the land in Bangladesh is flood-prone with at least 20 per cent of the area remaining normally inundated with rainwater. During excessive flooding in the monsoon season, about 70 per cent of the area is affected, causing particular damage to the agricultural lands. Variations in the monsoon patterns between the Himalayan range and the southern region, along with variability from El Niño and La Niña, create alternations between drought and flooding in Bangladesh.
Seasonal predictions and advisories through improved weather and climate information can assist in better planning and use of land for agricultural management. Tailored agrometeorological products can enable proper timing for sowing, planting, harvesting, irrigation, fertilizer applications, spraying of pesticides and other vital agricultural operations. This guidance will help increase production, reduce losses and cut costs.
At the request of the Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, WMO has been reviewing the existing agrometeorological services in the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, including the technical and other resources available. Based thereon, WMO has developed recommendations to improve the current agrometeorological station network in Bangladesh to ensure the timely delivery of agrometeorological information and products.
“We are extremely grateful to WMO for its concern for the people of Bangladesh and for the assistance we have been receiving from WMO right from our independence,” said Mr Md. Sirajul Islam. “I express my heartfelt gratitude to WMO for its support to Bangladesh Meteorological Department in its development”.
For more information please contact:
Ms Carine Richard-Van Maele, Chief, Communications and Public Affairs, WMO. e-mail: cpa[at]wmo.int
Ms Lisa M.P. Munoz, Press Officer, e-mail: lmunoz[at]wmo.int