Every rupee spent on the National Monsoon Mission (NMM) and on augmenting high-performance computing used for weather modelling has returned ₹50 in economic benefits to poor farmers and fishing families, a report released on Tuesday said.

The report, released by the New Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), showed that ₹551-crore NMM for improving the understanding about the enigmatic monsoon and ₹439-crore investment to enhance supercomputing capabilities used for weather forecasting resulted in an economic gain of ₹50,463 crore in terms for below-poverty-line farmers and fisherfolk.

To arrive at these findings, NCAER researchers carried out a face-to-face survey of over 6,000 respondents, including 3,965 farmers, 757 marine fisher people and 1,376 livestock owners. The responses received were further validated through an Interactive Voice Response Survey involving around two lakh people.

Modification in practices

About 98 per cent of the farmer respondents, hailing from 121 rain-fed districts in 11 States, said they made modification in one or more of nine critical practices such as changing breed or variety, changing schedule or fertiliser or pesticide application, changing the irrigation schedule and early or delayed harvesting based on weather advisories leading to increased income. For instance, the average annual income of farming households which adopted no modification worked out to be ₹1.98 lakh; ₹2.43 lakh for those who modified one-four practices; ₹2.45 lakh for those who modified five-eight practices and ₹3.02 lakh for those who adopted all nine changes.

About three out of four livestock owners from 92 districts in 10 States who participated in the survey, said they were using weather advisories for three major practices such as modification of the shed or shelter, vaccination against seasonal diseases and fodder management. Another 18 per cent said they used the weather information for any two practices.

Benefits realised

Fisherfolk who participated in the NCAER survey hailed mainly from 34 districts across seven States. While Ocean State Forecast advisories helped them avoid empty trips, Potential Fishing Zone advisories, on an average helped them get an additional income of ₹17,820 per trip.

The report further stressed that with an estimated proportion of women among farmers, livestock rearing and fisherfolk to be 26.9 per cent, 48.5 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively, the estimated benefits realised by the women workers works out to be ₹13,447 crore, 26.6 per cent of the total benefit.