Climate Bulletins – Agriculture
Regional and national Agro-climatological Bulletins were developed under the Caribbean Agro-meteorological Initiative (CAMI). CAMI was funded by the European Union through the Science and Technology Programme of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of Countries’ (ACP). CAMI was launched in February 2010 by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) and the following partners: Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and ten National Meteorological Services of CARICOM states. The overarching objective of CAMI was to increase and sustain agricultural productivity at the farm level in the Caribbean region through improved applications of weather and climate information, using an integrated and coordinated approach. Information for the agriculture community would largely be packaged in information bulletins tailored to the agriculture sector on both the national and regional scales.
Through training conducted under the CAMI project for meteorologists and other partners that supported delivery of bulletins, it was agreed that agroclimatological bulletins have some basic features that include:
- Significant features of the past and present weather and climatic conditions at the national, regional and local level, particularly those essential to agriculture;
- Average extreme values of meteorological, agro-meteorological and hydrometeorological elements;
- Information presented in the form of graphs, tables, drawings, maps, satellite imagery and text;
- Forecasted agro-climatological conditions;
- Written text describing the state and phases of development of agricultural crops, forests plantations and farm animals;
- Possible effects of expected climate on cultivated crops, tree plantations and on-farm animals at different stages of development and on their yields.
The first regional bulletin was disseminated in October 2011, which included (i) a summary of September conditions on a regional scale, particularly providing information pertaining to rainfall and drought; (ii) Summaries of September conditions for participating CAMI States; and (iii) forecasted rainfall conditions for the following three month period (October to December 2011). Around the same time and afterwards, national agroclimatic (monthly) bulletins were also routinely produced for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and Dominica. Trinidad and Tobago routinely produces ten-daily agrometeorological bulletins for their agriculturists, while Grenada disseminates a quarterly bulletin.
Though the CAMI project ended in 2013, the CAMI philosophy continues with its many activities toward seeking to provide relevant weather and climate information for the farming and wider agricultural communities that continue to be packaged in the form of these bulletins at both the national and regional scales.