Scientists with the USGS Agro-Meteorology (Agromet) Project assisted the Afghan Government in collecting and analyzing agricultural and meteorological data as it relates to crop production, irrigation, water supply, energy, and aviation. Key aspects of the program involved establishing a country-wide network of meteorological data-collecting stations and creating an extensive national database for the analysis of meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural information.
As part of the project, more than 100 agromet observation stations were installed throughout Afghanistan. These stations enable acquisition of current, valid agromet data that are essential for modeling and forecasting crop yields. Furthermore, continuous monitoring of key weather parameters can provide the earliest indications of potential crop failures and subsequent food shortages. Accurate agromet data are also important for assessing Afghanistan’s water supply and demand, estimating snow melt and water runoff, gauging the need for irrigation and hydropower, and validating satellite data.
Agromet project participants also helped establish an operational crop yield forecasting system (primarily for wheat) as well as a national monitoring and early warning system for droughts and floods. They helped train nearly 200 people, including many individuals from the Afghan Meteorological Authority and various Afghan ministries, in agro- and hydrometeorological techniques and tools. With Afghan colleagues, USGS team members were also involved in publishing regular and timely agrometeorological reports, seasonal analyses, and special bulletins, and disseminating these documents among national and international agencies and NGOs.
For a list of all USGS Agro-Meteorology Project publications, go here.