Weather monitoring system is used to help the farmers in making better agricultural decisions like carrying out timely sowing of crops according to weather forecast. Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Government of India, is providing agriculture related information including ‘weather conditions’ to the farmers through Kisan Call Centres (KCCs) operating from 21 locations in 22 local languages. In addition, DAC&FW is also providing weather related information through its regular mass media and outreach programmes being telecast and broadcast through Doordarshan, DD Kisan and All India Radio. The crops and weather based advisories are also disseminated through m-kisan portal to registered farmers, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha Tuesday.
To ascertain the risk factor, agriculture contingency plans for 648 districts have been updated and uploaded on the department’s portal which serve as a ready reckoner for line departments and farming community on the prevailing farming systems and technological interventions to manage various weather aberrations such as droughts, floods, cyclones, hailstorms, heat and cold waves. These cover different sectors of agriculture including crops, horticulture, livestock, poultry and fisheries, Tomar added.
Besides, India Meteorological Department (IMD) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) implements an operational Agromet Advisory Service (AAS) scheme, like, Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS) for the benefit of farming community in the country. Under GKMS scheme, district level weather forecast including rainfall for the next five days for all the districts is generated. Based on the weather forecast, Agromet Advisories are prepared in collaboration with 130 Agromet Field Units (AMFUs) and communicated to the farming community. AAS rendered by IMD is a step to weather-based crop and livestock management strategies and operations dedicated to enhancing crop production besides reducing crop damage and loss due to extreme weather events, the minister further said in the Lok Sabha.
By making use of modern technology, Agromet Advisories are being disseminated through SMS and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) using Kisan portal launched by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and also private companies like IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd (IKSL), Reliance Foundation and Mahindra Samriddhi under public-private-partnership (PPP) mode. In addition to the above means of communication, the AMFUs also use social media like WhatsApp and other mobile Apps developed for the purpose. Further, Kisan Suvidha mobile application has been developed by the department to facilitate dissemination of information to farmers on the critical parameters viz., weather; market prices; plant protection; input dealers — seed, pesticides, fertilisers — farm machinery; soil health card; cold storages and godowns; veterinary centres and diagnostic labs. This app is available in 9 languages such as English, Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Oriya, Punjabi, Marathi, Bengla and Telugu, the minister added.