New Delhi : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that India Meteorological Department (IMD) has undertaken installation of Agro-Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) to provide exact weather forecast to the people, especially the farmers. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today, he said, the installation was done at District Agromet Units (DAMUs) located in the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) network. The Minister said, Agro-AWS is being installed at 200 DAMUs to augment block level Agromet Advisory Services (AAS) under Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS) scheme.
Weather-based operational AAS viz. GKMS scheme, rendered by IMD jointly with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and State Agricultural Universities, is a step towards weather-based crop and livestock management strategies and operations for the benefit of farming community in the country. Under the scheme, medium range weather forecast at district and block level is generated and based on the forecast, Agromet Advisories are prepared and communicated by the Agromet Field Units (AMFUs) co-located with State Agricultural Universities, and DAMUs at KVKs to the farmers on every Tuesday and Friday.
These agromet advisories help farmers to take decision on day-to-day agricultural operations, which can further optimize the application of input resources at farm level during deficient rainfall situation and extreme weather events to reduce monetary loss and maximize crop yield.
IMD also monitors rainfall situation & weather aberrations and issues alerts & warnings to the farmers from time to time under GKMS scheme. SMS-based alerts and warning for extreme weather events along with suitable remedial measures are issued to take timely operations by the farmers. Such alerts and warnings are also shared with State Department of Agriculture for the effective management of calamity.
Agromet Advisories are communicated to the farmers through multichannel dissemination system like print and electronic media, Door Darshan, radio, internet etc. including SMS using mobile phones through Kisan Portal launched by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and also through private companies under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. At present, 43.37 million farmers in the country receive the Agromet Advisories through SMS directly. KVKs of ICAR have also given link to the respective district level advisory in their web portal.
A mobile App viz., ‘Meghdoot’ has also been launched by Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, to help the farmers to get the weather information including alerts and related agromet advisories specific to their districts.