20 December 2022, New Delhi: Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) has set up two committees to reduce the delay in crop loss/damage estimation and ensure timely settlement of claims by farmers.
The two committees are (i) Committee for nationwide implementation of technology-based crop yield estimation, (ii) Committee for standardization and improvement of weather data infrastructure.
Both committees will be headed by the Director of Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC), under the Ministry of Agriculture.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the committee will have representation from Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan Governments along with experts from different departments and agencies of the Central Government.
The panel on yield estimation will submit its report within 45 days. It will prepare standard operating procedures (SOP) as well as enroll technology implementation partners (TIPs). The panel on weather data infrastructure has been tasked to help MoA&FW in the creation of the proposed Weather Information Network Data System (WINDS), under which a system of automatic weather stations (AWS) and automatic rain gauges (ARG) will be implemented across India.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said the challenges of climate change-induced extreme weather events and natural calamities are handled in the best possible way by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) through timely weather warnings and climate forecasts to the entire nation and various stakeholders.
Agrometeorological Advisory Services (AAS)
India Meteorological Department (IMD) runs an operational Agrometeorological Advisory Services (AAS) viz., Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS) scheme for the benefit of the farming community in the country.
Under the scheme, medium range weather forecast at the district and block level for the next five days is generated and based on the forecast, 130 Agromet Field Units (AMFUs), located at State Agricultural Universities, institutes of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), etc., prepare Agromet Advisories on every Tuesday and Friday for the districts under their jurisdiction and the blocks of the district of their location and communicate to the farmers to decide on day-to-day agricultural operations.
AAS rendered by IMD is a step towards weather-based crop and livestock management strategies and operations dedicated to enhancing crop production and food security besides reducing crop damage and loss due to unusual weather.
Social media is also used for quicker dissemination of forecasts and advisories to the farmers. At present farmers of 1,21,235 villages in 3,636 Blocks have been covered through 16,262 WhatsApp groups. State Agriculture Department officials at District and Block levels are also included in these WhatsApp groups. Continuous efforts are being made to increase the number of farmers and villages covered to disseminate Agromet advisories using WhatsApp.
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