Soon, 6 lakh farmers in the state will get real-time warnings on weather conditions through SMS alerts from automated weather stations.
The 24-hour messaging service will provide information on 14 parameters, including temperature, wind speed and rains. Farmers will also get customised fertilisers based on crop, soil and weather conditions in their areas.
The Maharashtra agriculture department has appointed consultants to get the projects rolling. Both will be carried out on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis. The state has also acquired land in Puntamba to set up a plant to provide customised fertilisers to farmers.
The weather stations, costing Rs6 lakh each, will be set up in each of the state's revenue circles with the central station at Rahuri, near Ahmednagar. Around 350 weather stations will be set up in the first phase. Data will be transmitted to the 6 lakh farmers in the state, who have registered for the government SMS loop.
"We are trying to tackle two major issues through modern techniques. The weather stations will help farmers take decisions on crops and the right mix of fertilisers will maximise yield," said agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil.