India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Govt. of India, New Delhi is operating an integrated Agro-Meteorological Advisory Service (AAS) at district level, in India, which represents a small step towards agriculture management in rhythm with weather and climate variability leading to weather proofing for farm production. Under AAS, needs of farming community was defined through ascertaining information requirement of diverse groups of end-users. It emerged, that prime need of the farmer is location specific weather forecast in quantitative terms. Hence, the same was developed and made operational in June, 2008 at National Level. Thereafter, mechanism was developed to integrated weather forecast and climatic information along with agro-meteorological information to prepare district level agro-advisories outlining the farm management actions to harness favourable weather and mitigate impacts of adverse weather. A system has also been developed to communicate and disseminate the agro-meteorological advisories to strengthen the information out reach. The institutional dissemination channels such as farmer association, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), input suppliers, progressive farmers are also employed.
The Government of India has entrusted upon India Meteorological Department (IMD) the task of development of Agro-Meteorological Advisory Services in the country. In pursuance hereof, IMD has set up in the country a network of about 130 Agro-Meteorological Field Units (AMFUs), which are multidisciplinary units responsible for preparation and dissemination of agromet advisories under Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS) project. Within this framework, a considerable scope for decreasing the vulnerability of agriculture to increasing weather and climatic variability through weather forecast based agro-advisories has been experienced.
There are three AMFUs namely (i) AMFU Roorkee (ii) AMFU Pantnagar and (iii) AMFU Ranichauri to cover all the 13 districts of Bhaabar and Tarai zone and Hill zone of Uttarakhand.
AMFU Roorkee has been running in the Department of Water Resources Development and Management, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee since September, 2005. AMFU has manned by an Agro-meteorologist who utilize the relevant meteorological products provided by IMD to generate specific advisories for agricultural management for Dehradun, Haridwar and Pauri Garhwal districts and disseminates the same to the farming community. In addition to that an observer has also been appointed who record the observation and transmit on real-time basis to IMD and also assist the scientist in maintenance of the observatory. The responsibilities of AMFU include preparation of weather based advisories for management practices in agriculture after due consultation with subject matter specialist/scientists/professors of concerned disciplines and disseminate the same to the end users using all possible modes of communication. It is also liaison and engage with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), District Agriculture/Horticulture/Animal husbandry Officers, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and other agencies to render Agromet Advisory Service in a holistic manner. It also disseminates advisories through all possible means to have outreach up to village level and arrange to provide necessary feedback to IMD for development of:
- Relevant Agromet Advisories for the stressed crops/livestock etc.
- Regional/locale-specific agromet predictive models;
- Crop-weather relationships and crop calendar
- Forewarning models for weather and climate based pests and disease etc.
- The responsibility of mentoring and guiding respective KVKs under their ACZ jurisdiction to build and operate District Agro-Met Units (DAMU) to serve district/sub-district specific AAS responsibility at par with AMFUs.