1. Agriculture World

Good News for Farmers: India Meteorological Department to Issue Block-level Weather Forecast from 2020

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that it is working at a fast pace to provide localised weather prediction to all 6,500 blocks across 660 districts in the country by 2020. In this way it will help nearly 9.5 crore farmers cope with the vagaries of weather.

It said the most difficult task will be to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and make Agromet Advisory Services (AAS) more helpful and user friendliness.

Presently, India Meteorological Department issues district level advisories. Last year, it joined hands with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to extend weather prediction and AAS at the block level.

IMD Deputy Director General S D Attri said, “A lot of development has been made since signing of the MoU with ICAR. The work going on at a fast pace and we are recruiting and training people”.

About the Pilot study

The pilot study is in progress in 200 blocks. The goal is to cover 6,500 blocks in 660 districts till 2020, Attri said adding that this will assist growers minimise weather-related crop losses. He said that the IMD has a network of 130 agromet field units at district level for disseminating weather-based advisories. Efforts are being made to establish such units in 530 additional districts in India under the ‘Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa’ at Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

So far, four crore farmers are getting the district level weather forecast through SMS & mKisan portals.

Addressing an event on agriculture extension, the IMD official stressed on the need to disseminate Agromet Advisory Services to farmers on a ‘wide scale’ and convince them about its positive impacts on a sustainable basis.

He also discussed the need to concentrate on awareness programmes that will help farmers to become more independent in dealing with weather and climate problems that affect agriculture output and also help the farmers to further develop their adaptive capacity with enhanced planning and better management decisions.

Attri said it is not possible for the IMD to reach all farmers hence there is a need to take private sector and their new technologies in this area.

Mr. A K Singh, ICAR Deputy Director General (agriculture extension) said that the public, private & non-government organisations should work together in farm extension activities.

The ICAR is an agriculture research body that conducts extension work of taking the latest technologies to the farm fields via its 713 KVKs across the nation.

The private companies & NGOs are also doing some work separately, mostly free of cost unlike other nations, he told. Singh said that there is a need to break the silo mentality, work as a team and adopt models, which can bring better results to farmers.

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