Dissemination of the Information through Agromet Advisory service

Agrometeorological information is rarely provided as a finished product to the clients. Often it is used to complement the purely meteorological products, or delivered in combination with other remotely sensed products, such as information in soil wetness, land or vegetation cover (NDVI), likely presence of pests and/or diseases, estimates of the areal coverage of irrigated or flood-retreat crops, incidence of bush fires, etc. By the nature of their capacity to indicate the probable areal extent of a condition, and of the still very rapid evolution of the parameters that can be measured or derived, remotely-sensed data and their derived products will be a growing resource for the supply of agrometeorological products to clients.

How information is delivered to the users of the product is, finally, of extreme importance. There are a number of issues that fall into information delivery. These include clearly defined users, user-friendly information, cooperation and coordination between producers and users of the product, proper training, and timeliness of information delivery. Hard copy publication sent via mail allows detailed text and graphics, but its effectiveness may be hampered by the timeliness of receipt. Delivery by radio allows rapid dissemination but limits the amount of information that may be provided. Internet technology combines the strengths of detailed information and rapid delivery but is definitely constrained by lack of Internet access in many developing countries.

The product must be delivered or made accessible in sufficient time for the user to make professional sense from the information and use it appropriately in the management process. Formal lines of communication can be developed through user surveys and open forums. Information mechanisms, such as telephone, facsimile, or email exchange should also be encouraged.

Once established, such mechanisms for communication should become a routine occurrence to accommodate changing user needs, new technological innovations, and more efficient distribution procedures. Constructive feedback mechanisms promote an active dialogue to encourage improvements that not only technically enhance the bulletin but also increase its usefulness. Information delivery by Internet communication offers great opportunity to move quality products to the decision-maker rapidly. The computer age technology also allows efficient feedback mechanisms, which in turn may increase the demand for additional information (Motha, 2001).

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