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Training Course on Agriculture Meteorology

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 The International Training Course on Agriculture Meteorology was held in Beijing from October 19 to October 29, 2010. Six international participants from four countries working in the field of agriculture meteorology attended the two-week training. The total of sixforeign students was from South Africa(3), Kenya (1), Ethiopia (1) and Rwanda (1). 25 Chinese participants working in the related field also joined the course.


Mr. Jacob Lomas from Israel Meteorological AdministrationTraining Centre and Chinese expertsin the field of agriculturemeteorology from ChineseAcademy of Agriculture Sciences and Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciencesdelivered lectures.Mr. Jacob has been to China many times and for this special course, he prepared well-tailored case studies from the Middle East to help the participants understand more easily and more quickly about the application of meteorology in agriculture.


The main purpose of the training is to demonstrate to participants the application and optimal utilization of agrometeorological and climatic data, and to tackle adverse influence of climate change on agricultural activity. And the training contents covered: Agricultural meteorology – scope and objectives, Global water scarcity and the Israeli case, Agromet services in the Jordan valley, Agroclimatic requirements of the rice crop, Irrigation technologies – advantages and limitations, Agroclimatic requirements of the wheat crop, Drip irrigation – a case study, Agroclimatic requirements of the cotton crop, Criteria for the selection of irrigation methods, Sustainable issues of water and agriculture in China, Climate and subtropical plantations, Climate change and sustainable agriculture, Agricultural GHG reduction and market development in China, Heat stress and avocado pears-a case study, Irrigation of vegetables – a case study, Climate change: effects on agriculture and its adaptation, The frost atlas of Israel – applications, The use of brackish, recycled and desalinated water in agriculture.


The participants’ forum has become a regular part of each and every international training course, through which different people from different countries can share experiences and discuss problems. Take the forum of the agriculture meteorology course for example, Mr. Obed Phahlane from South Africa talked about how farmers got to know the meteorological information and how they were provided with professional assistance from the meteorological staff; and Ms. Christine Ambenje from Kenya made detailed analysis of the impact of climate change on agriculture from the perspectives of drought and flood. 


In addition to the academic programs, CMATC also organized many other activities to diversify the training. The international participants had the chance to visit the operational units of CMA, such as the National Meteorological Centre, the National Climate Centre and Huafeng Weather Channel. The coordinators of the course took the participants to visit the Badaling Great Wall and the Olympic Venue on the weekend.


The demonstration field trip was one thing that could not be missed in the summary report. Mr. Lomas, Mr. Fang Shibo (the expert from Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences), the coordinators and the participants went to the Ecological and Agricultural Experimental Base of Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, which is located in Gucheng, Hebei Province. The scientists in the base introduced many observatory facilities to the participants, such as the Open Top Chamber (OTC), which was one of the important instruments for the research of the impact of the greenhouse concentration on the plant growth. The participants were very interested in the ongoing wheat and corn experiments and they asked a lot of questions about the experiments. The field trip broadened the horizon of the participants. They felt that it was a worth going trip.


The two weeks’ course ended on October 29. In the closing ceremony as well as in the written form course assessment, all six international participants rated the course as very satisfactory. They told the coordinators that they had learnt a lot from Mr. Lomas as well as from the Chinese experts. Being a global issue, climate change has great impact on the agriculture development in Africa. The participants were confident that what they learnt here would be quite helpful in their operational and scientific work at home.