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Monday, Dec 16, 2019

Agromet to reach 40 million farmers by June 2019

South Asian Climate Outlook Forum reviews understanding of long -range prediction of the South Asian monsoons.

pune Updated: Apr 20, 2018 23:00 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Experts at the 12th meeting of South Asian Climate Outlook Forum held at IITM in Pune on Thursday.
Experts at the 12th meeting of South Asian Climate Outlook Forum held at IITM in Pune on Thursday. (SANKET WANKHADE/HT PHOTO)

Access to relevant climate information can empower farmers to anticipate and confront climate-related risks and opportunities. Hence, developing applications for interpreting climatic predictions has become the need of the hour, said M Rajeevan Nair, secretary, ministry of earth sciences.

Nair was in the city on Thursday to inaugurate the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.

 Nair said that to further help farmers, there is a plan to enhance the Agromet services. “The Agromet service provides special inputs to the farmers as advisories that can make a tremendous difference to the agriculture production by taking timely actions against extreme weather events.

“Presently, through Agromet services a total of 24 million farmers, the plan is to reach over 40 million farmers by June 2019,” said Nair.

“The seasonal climate predictions can help farmers select cultivars and purchase appropriate seeds. The mid-range forecasts can help in anticipating wet or dry spells, variation in temperature, managing risk in harvest operations while short-range forecasts would help determine the right harvest time, decide the timing of pesticide among other things,” said Nair.

He added that similarly, climate predictions can be used for benefit of other sectors, including water resources and power.  

He added that precipitation index for upcoming any two weeks can be developed for monitoring drought conditions and temperature variations which can affect drought conditions. 

Also present on the occasion were PK Taneja, director, Saarc Disaster Management Centre, Ravi Nanjundiah, director, IITM, KJ Ramesh, director general of Meteorology, AK Sahai, head of climate research and services, IMD Pune. 

This was the 12th meeting of the forum and the main objectives are to review the progress made in the understanding of the long-range prediction of the South Asian monsoons, both regionally and globally; to assess available information on climate variability in South Asia and the associated predictions; and to prepare consensus-based seasonal outlooks for dissemination.

The forum will also help to provide a platform for the stakeholders to share and exchange experience and knowledge on South Asian monsoons and their prediction, to initiate capacity building activities for the South Asian region, particularly in seasonal prediction. 

Speaking on the occasion, Nair said, “Interpretation of climate prediction for analysing effects of change in weather on agriculture, water resources, power and other sectors is very important. For this developing certain applications has become necessary.”

Nair said that the present climate predictions are mainly for helping policy decisions. 

On the occasion, Nair also said that the current observations from various climate models reveal that the frequency of extreme weather conditions has increased in recent years.