Help to Farmers by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)
The Agro-meteorological Advisory Services (AAS) under the Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva (GKMS) is operated to prepare biweekly weather based AAS bulletins for wider dissemination to the farmers at district scale through multimedia channels and also through SMS so as to plan farm operations accordingly. At present, 24.5 million farmers are directly subscribing SMS based AAS bulletins and have benefitted by and large. Efforts are continuously made for expanding the outreach of the AAS to every farming household across the country.
As per the recent National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) report, farming community of the country is using the GKMS service products for critical farm operations viz.
- i) Management of sowing (Delayed onset of rains);
- ii) Changing crop variety (Delay in rainfall);
iii) Spraying Pesticides for disease control (occurrence of rainfall);
- iv) Managing Irrigation (Heavy rainfall Forecast).
According to a survey, the weather forecast based AAS of IMD is found to be reliable by more than 93% of surveyed farmers and 95% of the farmers say that forecasts of IMD have improved during last 2-4 years. Further, most of farmers felt that there had been an improvement in the timeliness of the issuance of AAS bulletins of the weather forecasts. Among various components of weather elements, rainfall component has the highest priority. Concurrently, with the implementation of District Level Agro Meteorological Advisory services, India has seen improved agriculture performance in the rain fed farming (Covers 60% of arable land).
Incremental profit due to GKMS is assessed at 25% of the net income. The Potential Annual Economic profit by using GKMS by 24% of the community currently cultivating 4-principle crops (wheat; paddy; sugarcane; cotton) in 2010 was assessed at Rs. 38,463 Crores (when 2.0 million farmers were subscribed to SMS service), which rose to Rs.42,000 Crores in 2015 (11.5 million farmers have been subscribed to SMS service). The study suggests that GKMS has the potential of generating net economic benefit up to Rs.3.30 lakh crores when Agro-Meteorological advisory is fully utilized by the 95 million agriculture dependent households.
This information was given by Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Y.S.Chowdary in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.