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Showing Abstract of Indigenous methods of monitoring and forecasting weather for agriculture seasons – the Sri Lanka experience


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[ Abstract Viewed: | Pages: 8 ]


Indigenous methods of monitoring and forecasting weather for agriculture seasons – the Sri Lanka experience

Topic: Published Year: 1390
Published in:

[ International Conference on Traditional Knowledge for Water Resources Management ]

Original Language: English Full Text Size: Not Available


Abstract of the Article


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Download This article in PDF format Indigenous methods of monitoring and forecasting weather for agriculture seasons – the Sri Lanka experience



[ B. R. Ariyaratne ] - Benchmark Basin Coordinator / Agricultural Engineer, International Water Management Institute (IWMI
[ H Manthrithilake ] - Head, Sri Lanka Program, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), 127, SuilMawatha, Pelawatte
[ K Jinapala ] - Researcher / Institutional Specialist, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), 127, SuilMawatha



Agriculture in Sri Lanka dates back over three millennia, having evolved through various vagaries in climate. As inhabitants of a tropical monsoonal island, ,Sri Lankans have, over the years, developed two distinct seasons for crop cultivation, known as Maha for wet seasons and Yala for dry seasons Farmers used to observe and follow nature, while respecting and protecting it. Communities worked together according to a time- tested crop calendar based on observed natural phenomena. They knew when to start preparing their land which crop variety and when to grow and harvest, using natural indicators. Their observations of nature – trees flowering and fruiting, the behavioral changes of animals, birds and insects, wind and cloud patterns in the sky - evolved into a knowledge system that helped those making important agricultural decisions key in their livelihoods. They used no agrochemicals but natural systems instead, to protect their crops. This understanding and use of nature helped them flourish and create a rich culture and civilization. More recently, modern science has brought new technologies (sophisticated weather stations, computers and forecasting models, etc.), which have remained in the hands of the educated urban. Farmers in rural areas have no access to this information for improving their day to day livelihoods. although they too have been brainwashed ’ into following these ‘scientific’ methods of weather forecasting at the expense of age- old traditional knowledge gained. The authors believe the traditional weather/climate forecasting is still practicable and useful and should be revived. They suggest that this revival should begin with school- going children, and introduced as a part of their environment education.This paper documents the traditional knowledge on weather/climate forecasting existing on the island



traditional knowledge, forecasting climate, natural indicators, biological indicers, physical


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