There is no ecological cost of our strategy.
Reduced use of pesticides to control pests. Reduced emissions of greenhouse gases by use of draft animals in farming Reduction of erosion and soil loss. Conservaciï¿½n de los bosques y la biodiversidad asociada a ellos.
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit:
Environmentally, using the service contributes to the preservation of forests and agricultural crops Cuban (carbon sinks) and maintain biodiversity (Community Reports Environmental monitoring results developed by state agencies)
The cost-benefit analysis would demonstrate that the implementation of the service, farmers get an increase of 2.5% of their earnings in crops like potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L), bananas (Musa spp.) and tomatoes (Lycopersicum esculentum Wild). Moreover, all the beneficiaries acknowledge that the service has significantly Improved water management and operations, to know in advance which the most opportune time to irrigate is.
Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit:
Quantification of an economic indicator of the solution is complicated, but for example it has been estimated that the introduction of the same a decrease of 1% of average economic losses caused by forest fires during the period 2003 to 2006 ($ 3,205,272.73), it represents in the seven years starting around $ 22436909.1 (Cuban pesos). (Bureau of Statistics)
What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?:
The difficulties have a very wide spectrum socially, economically and technically: a) The use of the system depends on decisions of the Agricultural Enterprises and of other units of the Ministry of Agriculture, which usually depend on funding. b) Insufficient technical personnel necessary to cover the needs of the irrigated areas in the productive units. c) Lack of the basic information necessary agronomically, thus weakening the scientific-technical support and rigor of the methodologies used in the Irrigation Scheduling. To avoid this, it must maintain a minimum number of field technicians to inspect areas that can be irrigated apply the service. d) Poor connection between beneficiaries (users) and technicians responsible for the service. e) The tuning of the times of broadcasting the information by the radio to the work schedule of the farmers. Transfer of agrometeorological information to farmers is done in different ways. Meteorological Services use different options, such as periodical bulletins (printed or web), mass media: TV, radio or newspapers and/or e?mails. Perception studies developed in areas around an agrometeorological showed that meteorological information was useful to most of the farmers. However, a considerable portion of the farmers was unaware of the concepts and scope of agricultural meteorology. Moreover, it was found that the national television news (NTV) and/or national radio stations were selected more often as the first source of weather information, followed by the local television channel (TELECUBANAC?N) and/or local radio. Respondents to this questionnaire, all of them farmers, this way always kept themselves informed on the weather situation and used that information mostly for planning purposes. What can we do to improve on that situation? How to convey more specific agrometeorological information safely and understandably to producers? To solve this problem, our conditions demand to make a differentiation, because obviously messages aimed at managers of agricultural enterprises differ from those whose receptors are individual producers. In the area these actors generally do not have access to electronic networks and in many cases even lack telephones, to mention two elements considered limitations for the design or establishment of any information system. These considerations led to the creation of a system for information transport, the so called Remote Web System, which was established on the basis of a link point to point (P2P), which has certain technical advantages, including: i) updating is independent of user intervention, ii) provides a framework for the review of information, iii) allows for secure information exchange between supplier and customer and iv) the supplier has all the statistical use and it is easy to determine any violation of the regulations. Remote Web System contributed to the solution, but only partially because lack of telephone lines and modems capable to cover all customers in a minimum of time, was, next to website design (requires a more ?flexible? website) and training, the most important constraint. The problem for individual farmers remains because we aimed at farm managers. Certainly, we are not satisfied! What to do? It imposes the need to ?downscale? the role of agrometeorological stations, which should not only be "centers for collecting data and information" but also something like a referral and consultation center at the local level.