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.