If all goes according to plan, as many as 9.5 crore Indian farmers will be able to access localised weather forecasting in the country by 2020, thereby helping them to plan cropping patterns well in advance, reports Press Trust of India (PTI).
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is currently working on setting up the infrastructure in 6,500 blocks across 660 districts. A pilot project is underway in 200 blocks.
"A lot of progress has been made since the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ICAR. The work is at a faster pace... We are recruiting and training people," said IMD Deputy Director General S D Attri.
Such block-level weather forecast will help farmers minimise weather-related crop losses.
IMD presently operates 130 agromet field units at the district level. The organisation aims to set up such field units in more 530 districts under the 'Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa' at Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs).
While four crore farmers already receive district level weather forecast through SMS and mKisan portals, IMD wants to double that number and also introduce greater localisation. "The target is to cover 9.5 crore farmers by 2020 by extending the services at a block level," added Attri.
Real-Time Pricing Info
It was also earlier reported that the central government was working on a new agricultural demand-supply information framework that will provide real-time and accurate updates on price and volume movements of certain crops.
The new framework will be modelled on the system used by the United States Department of Agriculture that provides timely projections to remove information asymmetry among the market participants.