Varanasi, India: Agro-Advisory Services (AAS) of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, completed first phase of its service by helping farmers. AAS helped as many as two million farmers across the country by equipping them with information about monthly and seasonal variation in weather conditions with high-power computer system (HPCS), according to KK Singh, Director, IMD.
Singh emphasised that use of advanced technologies like remote sensing, GIS, HPCS and crop simulation models (CSMs) are ensuring speedy and accurate dissemination of information to the farmers and steps like weather-based crop insurance are also being initiated to safeguard the farmers from bad season.
The AAS services, with information support system, are available through SMS and interactive voice recording system (IVRS) and the services are run on PPP model in the country. Presently, as many as 475 districts in the country are covered under AAS bulletin which provides weekly, monthly and seasonal weather forecasting.
According to the IMD Director, even contingency measures for selection of crops (oilseeds and pulses) and climate resilient agriculture practices are being disseminated to the farmers who are using the facility. He added that efforts are on to provide customised services to individual farmers. “We are also looking at increasing the farmer base making these services available at block level in the country,” he continued.