Participatory Development of Information Services for Farmers in Peri-Urban Khulna, Bangladesh

Information services, such as weather forecasts or forecasts of water levels, can help farmers and other water users to manage water resources and take farm decisions. Smallholder farming communities in peri-urban Khulna are highly vulnerable to hydro-climatic disasters caused by climate change and unplanned urbanization. While available information and technology could help farmers by taking informed decisions, the peri-urban farming communities of Khulna still lack access to weather and water related information services well in advance and meaningful way. To fulfil this gap, Waterapps Project (www.waterapps.net) funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), started research initiative on ‘Participatory Development of Information Services’ with and for farmers in peri-urban Khulna, Bangladesh.

To date Waterapps Project organized several multi-stakeholders workshops in Khulna to bridge gaps between service developers and service providers including intermediaries from the idea of collaborative learning by doing approach of participatory action research. The Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) Workshop held in Khulna on 6th May 2018. The Workshop jointly organized by the University of Khulna, CIMMYT, Reading University, the DeltaCAP (www.deltacapproject.net) and WaterApps (www.waterapps.net) Projects. In the workshop service developers, service providers and researchers joined together to explore existing farming practices of smallholder farmers in peri-urban Khulna, and to understand information needs for better agricultural decisions in the context of climate change and urbanisation. This workshop held from an early inspiration of PICSA for Bangladesh. This workshop also bridge an important gap among researchers team currently working for Participatory Climate Service Development in Bangladesh.

PICSA Workshop participants at Raingamari Village, Batiaghata, Khulna.

 

This article was written by Uthpal Kumar and Saskia Werners on May 6, 2018.

DeltaCAP Briefs the Vice-Chancellor of BUET

DeltaCAP Briefs the Vice-Chancellor of BUET

23-Apr-2018, Dhaka. Prof. Umme Kulsum Navera (DWRE, BUET) and Prof. Shah Alam Khan (IWFM, BUET), together with Associate Professor Assela Pathirana of IHE-Delft Institute of water education, met with the Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Saiful  Islam (CEng FIET FIEB FBCS SrMIEE). Prof. Islam is also a senior scientist and Professor in the field of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and has an active research career in addition to the responsibilities of the office of the Vice-Chancellor.  He completed his PhD at the Cambridge University in 1986.

The objective of the meeting was to Brief the Vice-Chancellor on the activities of the DeltaCAP Project which is concerned with providing capacity support to realize Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. DeltaCAP is funded by the government of the Netherlands through Nuffic-NICHE. Delta Alliance Bangladesh Wing, BUET being an active member of the Wing, is the partner in the DeltaCAP project in Bangladesh.

One of the important aspects of the DeltaCAP project is to establish an inter-agency knowledge centre, a ‘Delta Centre’ represented by all partners of the Wing, which will play an important role in capacity development and knowledge co-creation for delta-planning and implementation in Bangladesh. The centre will be a virtual cluster entity which will act as a liaison among the existing and new capacity building entities (e.g. training institutes) of various agencies. DeltaCAP proposed that BUET also implement one of such entities – a ’Delta Centre BUET’ – which will work as a delta knowledge institution and collaborate with other agencies for capacity building and knowledge generation. The feasibility of offering online professional courses and joint degrees in the longer term was also discussed during this meeting.