1. Home
  2. News

199 District Agromet Units to Close on IMD Orders Protecting Farmers

IMD has ordered the discontinuation of DAMUs beyond the current fiscal year, impacting 199 districts across 32 states and Union Territories.

KJ Staff
District Agromet Unit under Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva (GKMS) scheme. (Picture Courtesy: kvkkodagu.icar.gov.in)
District Agromet Unit under Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva (GKMS) scheme. (Picture Courtesy: kvkkodagu.icar.gov.in)

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an order on January 17, declaring the cessation of services provided by district agromet units (DAMUs) beyond the current fiscal year (2023-2024). The decision, impacting 199 districts across 32 states and Union Territories, has sparked concerns about the future of crucial agromet advisories for thousands of farmers.

IMD Shuts 199 District Agromet Units: Challenges in DAMU Continuation

The move comes after recommendations from the Expenditure Finance Committee meeting last year, suggesting a re-evaluation of the need for staff at each DAMU. The proposal, rooted in the automation of data collection, argues for the centralisation of units, a departure from the current field units.

Impact on Farmers After Closure of Agromet Units

The decision directly affects the livelihoods of 398 DAMU employees across the country and raises alarms about the well-being of farmers dependent on the advisories. DAMUs have played a pivotal role in bridging the communication gap between farmers and scientists, providing detailed, block-level agromet advisories.

Evolution of Agromet Unit Services

Since the launch of Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva (GMSV) in 2015, efforts have been made to enhance agrometeorological services. Initially set to have 530 DAMUs, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the process, resulting in only 199 being established.

Human Element in Agrometeorology

Contrary to automated systems, DAMUs offer customised forecasts based on historical data, conduct ground validations, and directly engage with farmers. The decision has prompted concerns about the potential loss of valuable insights related to soil moisture, pest attacks, and crop health.

Agromet Units Protests and Proposed Solutions

The Maharashtra-based Agrometeorological Units Association has voiced concerns about the adverse effects of closing DAMUs in the era of climate change. Suggestions for integrating existing systems and training personnel in farmer-producer organisations and gram panchayats have been put forward as potential solutions.

Uncertainty Surrounding Continuation

While the IMD has decided to close DAMUs, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has issued an order for their continuation. The responsibility may shift to Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), but limited staff raises concerns about the seamless transition and increased workload.

Expert Opinions on Closure of 199 District Agromet

The potential discontinuation of DAMUs raises questions not only about the immediate impact on farmers but also about the long-term resilience of the agricultural community in the face of changing weather patterns and climate impacts. The government faces a delicate balance between budget considerations and the invaluable services provided by DAMUs, leaving the agricultural sector at a critical crossroads.

International No Diet Day 2024 Quiz Take a quiz
Share your comments
FactCheck in Agriculture Project

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters