‘Developing weather apps for farmers is necessary’

Sakal Times
Friday, 20 April 2018

Pune: Relevant climate information and easy access to it can empower farmers to anticipate and confront climate-related risks and opportunities. Hence, developing applications for interpreting climatic prediction has become the need of the hour, said M Rajeevan Nair, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences.
He was speaking at the inauguration of The South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF) on Thursday at Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.

Pune: Relevant climate information and easy access to it can empower farmers to anticipate and confront climate-related risks and opportunities. Hence, developing applications for interpreting climatic prediction has become the need of the hour, said M Rajeevan Nair, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences.
He was speaking at the inauguration of The South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF) on Thursday at Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.

Speaking during the inauguration, Nair said that interpretation of climate prediction for analysing effects of change in weather on agriculture, water resources, power, among other sectors is very important. For this, developing certain applications has become necessary.

“The present climate predictions are mainly for helping policy decisions. The seasonal climate predictions can help farmers select cultivators, 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 will help determine the right harvest time, decide the timing of pesticide among other things,” said Nair. 
Nair said that there is a plan to make the ‘agromet’ services reach more farmers by next year.

“The agromet services provide 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. At present, through agromet services a total of 24 million farmers are being reached while the plan is to reach over 40 million farmers by June 2019,” said Nair.

The main objectives of SASCOF are to review the progress made in understanding long-range prediction of South Asian monsoons both regionally and globally, to assess the available information on climate variability in South Asia and the associated predictions and 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.

Others present were PK Taneja, Director, SAARC Disaster Management Centre, Ravi Nanjundiah, Director, IITM, KJ Ramesh, Director General of Meteorology, Dr AK Sahai, Head of Climate Research and Services, IMD Pune among others.

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