Upgrading agricultural drought monitoring and forecasting: the case of Ukraine and Moldova


Given the climate change conditions and increase of extreme weather events such as droughts, monitoring and forecasting instruments play a key role in the development of the agricultural sector. This is especially true in countries with limited water resources such as Ukraine and Moldova, where the agricultural sector is key to national economic development.

Today, to support drought management and monitoring, data assessment and forecasting tools need to be upgraded. Until now, the post-Soviet countries used agro-climatic zoning, which was developed in 1985 based on the data analysis of meteorological observations for the period from 1956 to 1985.

Within the framework of this demonstration project, modern agro-climatic trends will be analyzed, based on long-term, non-interrupted, continuous meteorological observation data and experimental studies of soil water-holding capacity in Ukraine and the Dniester River Basin. This project aims to review agro-climatic zoning and to develop maps of drought-prone areas for the agricultural sector of Ukraine and the Dniester River Basin. This will be done in order to improve drought monitoring systems, update methods of data assessment and develop forecast models for key crop harvest losses through drought.

The new agro-climatic zoning of Ukraine and the Dniester River Basin, recommendations elaborated for improving drought monitoring, upgraded forecasting models and good practices for increasing soil moisture retention will be presented and discussed with farmers and policy/decision-makers to improve drought management at the local and national/river basin levels.