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Evaluating the socioeconomic benefits of climate services in Pakistan



Date & Time

30 March 2021


Mandira Singh Shrestha


ICIMOD’s Climate Services Initiative together with the University of Leeds is jointly working on a pilot on evaluating socioeconomic benefits of climate services in Pakistan. The study will evaluate the current provision of weather and climate services in Pakistan by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and its usefulness to the farming communities. In particular, the study will focus on agro-meteorological advisories aimed at cotton and wheat farmers in the Punjab and Sindh provinces of the country, where rising temperatures, unusual rain, more frequent flooding, and prolonged droughts threaten productivity. This activity is part of the Asia Regional Resilience to a Changing Climate (ARRCC) programme, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), which has four Work Packages (WPs) across all timescales. Within the context of the ARRCC programme, WP4 (VALUE) aims to evaluate the benefits that occur as a result of improved weather and climate information.

In consultation with PMD, two of Pakistan’s four provinces have been identified for inclusion in this study: Punjab and Sindh.  In both provinces, wheat is grown as a staple food crop, and cotton as a cash crop. This study uses both the perceptions approach and the observational impact evaluation approach to understand the user landscape of the PMD’s agro-met advisories and its impact on inputs use and outputs of two crops: wheat and cotton.  Since the research aims to understand the use and usefulness of the agro-met advisories to the farmers in wheat–cotton farming system, the survey includes both user and non-user farmers, where the non-user farmers will serve as a comparison group while estimating the net-benefits of using the agro-met advisories or its impact on different outcomes. The survey will be conducted in two rounds. The first survey will be conducted at the end of wheat harvesting and cotton sowing, and the second survey will be conducted at the end of last picking of cotton. An inception workshop is planned on 30 March 2021 to bring the stakeholders together and have a common understanding of the pilot and its expected outcomes.


  • Bring partners on board for a collective understanding of the study and the expected outcome
  • Know the complete scope of weather and climate information required compared to what is being provided
  • Understand the issues better from the stakeholders and include them in the survey questionnaire and focus group discussions for field data collection so that the study findings will be useful for all stakeholders


Expected outputs
  • Overview of the research project’s objectives and rationale of districts selections
  • Stakeholders’ input on
  1. What type of weather and climate information farmers are getting from PMD and how timely and targeted it is
  2. Usefulness of agro-met advisories to the farmers:
    1. Rain forecast with 3–5 days’ lead time during cotton sowing to avoid soil crusting
    2. Warning/alert on high risk of weather-induced pest/disease attack on cotton
    3. Rain, dew duration, and wind forecast to plan chemical spray
    4. Wind forecast to plan irrigation to avoid lodging of crop
    5. Dry window (5–7 days) forecast for wheat harvesting and threshing without dust storm
  1. Issues that farming communities are facing in access to reliable weather and climate advice
  2. Rationale of farming communities using/not using climate services
  3. How important is weather and climate information to women farmers in agricultural activities
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