In keeping with government’s efforts to advance sustainable agricultural practices, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder today commissioned a new Climatological station in the compound of the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), Mon Repos. The new station was established as a collaborative effort between the Hydromet Department and the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) and will see students pursuing Certificates and Diplomas in Agriculture benefiting from the facility, as the station will be used mainly for research purposes.
During his feature address, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder describes the occasion as timely as it fits into the Ministry of Agriculture’s vision of transforming the sector.
“With data from this station, we will be able to plan, in a scientific manner, improvements in both our agricultural practices and production in this era of global climate change.” The Minister said.
The Agriculture Minister stressed the importance of placing greater emphasis on providing people with the timely information necessary to protect themselves from extreme weather conditions. “Early warnings of danger can not only help communities to respond and adapt to risks posed by climate change, but also raise awareness of the causes and effects of climate change.” Minister Holder added.
The effects of climate change are magnified and multiplied in poor communities. With these facts being known, global Meteorological centers have focused on generating forecasts. The Ministry of Agriculture, through its national weather service’s Hydromet Office, permits the public to be more climate smart, through the use of climate and weather information to make informed decisions.
With the commissioning of the station, the Hydromet Service now has a total of eleven (11) established climatological stations across Guyana which allows them to better monitor weather variables experienced in the various locations, in all the regions. Agriculture being the pillar of the productive sector as it contributes significantly to Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product, this station serves as an intervention towards improving agricultural output.
While offering remarks at the commissioning, Climatologist (ag) at the Hydromet Department Mr. Komalchand Dhiram explained that the station will be used mainly for observational purposes. “This is primarily an observational station but to some extent, it will function as a means to carry out seasonal forecasting. With this data, farmers can know what crops to plant during a given season. The more stations we have in a specific grid gives a wider scope which will allow for a more accurate forecast.” Mr. Dhiram said.
By introducing a climatological station at the Guyana School of Agriculture, an average of 120 students per year will be exposed to practical experience in Agricultural Meteorology. This will assist greatly in enabling students to link the theoretical aspect of climatology with the practical aspect, as students will be able to gain additional knowledgeable in reading and recording climate data.
More specifically, the instruments will enable the collection of rainfall, air temperature, wind speed, sunshine and evaporation. Data collected will provide opportunities for more focused research in crop production, adaptation, improved resilience and other suitable interventions to cope with the changes in climate in addition to providing an opportunity to undertake analysis in real time in a strategic location.
Also speaking at the commissioning of the climatological station, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), Mr. Brian Greenidge welcomed the initiative, adding that it will significantly assist in school in the practical aspect of learning.
“This station is one of major significance to the Guyana School of Agriculture. Approximately four years ago, an approach was made to the Hydromet Department to set up an Agrometeorological Station to assist with the courses offered at the school.” Mr. Greenidge said.
The CEO also encouraged other agencies to take up similar initiatives to collaborate with GSA so that it can ultimately benefit the sector.
The Climatological station was built as at cost of approximately $1.6M.