India Meteorological Department (IMD) has undertaken installation of agro-automatic weather stations (AWS) at 200 district agromet units (DAMUs) at Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) across the country, Jitendra Singh Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences said on Tuesday.

These AWSs will be used for augmenting block level agromet advisory services under Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS), implemented jointly with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and State Agricultural Universities, Singh said in reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

At present, over 4.3 crore farmers across the country receive the agromet advisories through SMS directly, he said. These agromet advisories help farmers to decide on day-to-day agricultural operations, which can further optimise the application of input resources at the farm level during deficient rainfall situations and extreme weather events to reduce monetary loss and maximize crop yield.

The GKMS scheme, the Minister said, is a step towards weather-based crop and livestock management strategies and operations for the benefit of the farming community in the country. It is a step towards weather-based crop and livestock management strategies and operations to benefit the farming community in the country.

Under the scheme, medium-range weather forecast at district and block level is generated. Based on the forecast, Agromet Advisories are prepared and communicated by the Agromet Field Units (AMFUs) co-located with State Agricultural Universities, and DAMUs at KVKs to the farmers on every Tuesday and Friday.

Agromet Advisories are communicated to the farmers through multiple channels such as print and electronic media, radio, internet etc, including SMS using mobile phones through Kisan Portal launched by Agriculture Ministry as well as through private companies under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

The Minister said the Ministry of Earth Sciences also launched a mobile App called Meghdootto help the farmers get weather information, including alerts and related agromet advisories specific to their districts.