A training workshop on agro-meteorological advisory services for Papua New Guinea was conducted at the National Weather Service in Port Moresby during 22-24 May 2018.
The training, known as Specialized Expert System for Agro-Meteorological Early Warning (SESAME), was aimed at developing national capacity for generating and utilizing user-relevant agro-meteorological information for early warning of risks from natural hazards and guiding resource management plans and decisions.
SESAME is an agricultural advisory system for early warning and day-to-day crop management, developed by the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES).
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and RIMES, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Livestock and the National Weather Service organized and supported the 3-day learning event as part of the PNG E-Agriculture initiative.
Agro-meteorological service and advisories are an innovative step to contribute to weather information based crop/livestock management strategies and operations dedicated to enhancing crop production by providing real time crop and location specific agromet services with outreach to rural communities.
Agromet information and alert systems therefore are among the prioritized e-solutions identified for PNG under the national E-Agriculture Strategy. Hence the SESAME event was critical to develop national capacity to enhance access and sharing of real-time agromet advisories and forecasts for specific crops and locations in the country.
The training program was centered around:
- SESAME Introduction (system design, features, functionalities and customization for PNG)
- SESAME Demonstration (data entry, crop calendar generation, preparation of forecast bulletin, generation of agro-advisories, disseminating forecast and advisory bulletin)
The beneficiaries were 25 participants from the agriculture and natural resource sectors, representing the following organisations:
- Department of Agriculture and Livestock
- Coffee Industry Corporation
- Fresh Produce Development Agency
- Cocoa Board of PNG
- Kokonas Indastri Koporesen
- Oil Palm Industry Corporation
- Oil Palm Research Association
- National Agricultural Research Institute
- National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority
- National Forest Authority
- National Fisheries Authority
- National Weather Service
- Provincial DAL – Jiwaka
- Provincial DAL – East Sepik
The event was opened on the first day with official statements by NWS Director Samuel Maiha, Head of FAO Office (PNG) Ken Shimizu, DAL Deputy Secretary Steven Mombi, and Department of Mineral Policy and Geoharzards Management Deputy Secretary John Arumba. It was witnessed by other stakeholders and the media.