1. Home
  2. News

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Urges Support for District Agromet Units Amidst Discontinuation Concerns

The discontinuation of District AgroMet Units (DAMUs) raises concerns regarding their potential impact on agriculture, food security, and the livelihoods of farming communities.

Shivam Dwivedi
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Urges Support for District Agromet Units Amidst Discontinuation Concerns (Photo Source: @nitin_gadkari/X)
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Urges Support for District Agromet Units Amidst Discontinuation Concerns (Photo Source: @nitin_gadkari/X)

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has voiced concerns over the potential discontinuation of District AgroMet Units (DAMUs) that provide vital weather-related advisories to farmers at the block level. This move, initiated by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), has sparked debates regarding its impact on agriculture and the livelihoods of farming communities.

Background of the Issue:

  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced on January 17 that the services of District AgroMet Units (DAMUs) would not be extended beyond the current financial year (2023-2024).

  • DAMUs, established under the Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva (GMSV) in 2018, play a crucial role in disseminating agromet advisories to farmers, aiding them in making informed decisions about their agricultural activities.

Appeals for Intervention:

  • The Maharashtra-based Agrometeorological Units Association (AUA) has appealed to various governmental bodies, including the Prime Minister's Office, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and the Union Ministries of Earth Sciences and Agriculture, urging them to intervene and reconsider the decision to discontinue DAMUs.

  • Gadkari, in a letter to Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh, emphasized the importance of DAMUs in providing detailed weather advisories to farmers up to the village level, highlighting their significant impact on agriculture production, food security, and the livelihoods of farming communities.

Role of District AgroMet Units (DAMUs):

  • DAMUs prepare and disseminate agromet advisories twice a week, offering block-level insights crucial for farmers' decision-making processes.

  • Unlike agromet field units (AMFUs) that operate at the zonal level, DAMUs provide localized advisories akin to regional newspapers, catering to the specific needs of farmers in their respective areas.

Impact on Farmers and Employees:

  • The potential discontinuation of DAMUs not only threatens the livelihoods of their 398 employees but also jeopardizes the welfare of lakhs of farmers reliant on these advisories.

  • These advisories have played a significant role in enhancing farmers' resilience against adverse weather and climate impacts, consequently reducing losses and claims under schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.

Financial Challenges and Nodal Responsibility:

  • Financial issues, including salary disbursement, have plagued the DAMU initiative, leading to complaints and representations to relevant ministries.

  • An official from the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences underscored the importance of the agriculture ministry as the nodal authority responsible for the dissemination of agromet advisories, emphasizing the need for coordinated efforts to address the challenges faced by DAMUs.

As stakeholders continue to deliberate on this matter, concerted efforts are needed to ensure the continuity of DAMUs and the uninterrupted provision of crucial weather-related advisories to farmers across the nation.

Take a Quiz on Green Revolution 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