Srinagar: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) in collaboration with the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) has expanded its farmer outreach by setting up offices in eight districts of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, which are now providing accurate weather forecasts to boost farm practices at block levels in both the UTs.
Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Director Meteorology, Sonam Lotus said that for the last one year, the IMD has been issuing weather forecasts for farmers with help of scientists from SKUAST in Kashmir and Jammu as well.
Lotus said this service has benefited the farmers of J&K and Ladakh and saved crores of rupees by creating an early warning system.
“The 4 Agromet Field Units (AFMU) at Jammu, Srinagar, Leh and Rajouri and 4 District Agromet Units (DAMU) at Kathua, Reasi, Baramulla and Kupwara have been quite helpful in issuing weather forecasts for farmers at block level. This is being done in collaboration with SKUAST Kashmir, Jammu” said Lotus.
Lotus said for taking advantage of favorable weather for better farm practices, the India Meteorology Department has been issuing block level agro advisories in J&K, Ladakh since last year which has helped to boost agri-production.
“This initiative is beyond disaster management and has been helpful to help for farm activities and save farmers from facing losses due to adverse weather conditions “said Lotus.
It may be mentioned that in order to provide direct services to the farming community of the country an exclusive Division of Agricultural Meteorology was set up in 1932 under the umbrella of India Meteorological Department (IMD) at Pune with the objective to minimize the impact of adverse weather on crops and to make use of favorable weather to boost agricultural production. The services of the division are Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva, dissemination of agro-met advisories, feedback and awareness of agro-met service, training programme to AMFUs.
The prime objective of the Agricultural Meteorology Division, India Meteorological Department is to minimize the impact of adverse weather on crops and to make use of crop-weather relationships to boost agricultural production.
The MeT officials also said that installation of the much-awaited state-of-the-art Doppler weather radar has been completed in Jammu, which will be inaugurated soon and will “make weather forecasts more accurate”. MeT officials said the IMD will also be installing a Doppler weather radar at Banihal Top for more "accurate weather forecasts" but added that “this project may take some time”.