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Success Story: Agromet Advisory Services – Boon to the Farmers in Vijayapura District of Karnataka

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Introduction

Agriculture in India depends heavily on weather and climate conditions. Weather through various atmospheric factors plays a significant role in reaping good agricultural output (Bal and Minhas 2017). Agromet advisory services are vital tool which provide the valuable information about all agricultural operations and weather forecasted information. The major objective of AAS is to help the farmers in capitalizing benevolent weather conditions in order to optimize the resource use and to minimize the loss due to harsh/aberrant weather conditions (Rathore et.al., 2003). Agromet advisory services play critical role in agriculture under changing climatic condition. AAS benefits every farmer by minimizing the crop loss due to fluctuating weather condition in recent days.

Success story 

A small farmer named Shri. Gurupadappa Shivalingappa Biradar who lived in small village in Vijayapura district of Karnataka. He cultivates range of dryland crops such as Jowar, Redgram, Maize, Groundnut as well as few vegetables in his 3.5 acres of land. After inspiring from fellow farmers, he planned to go for grapes cultivation in his field. He collected the required information from his fellow farmers and also from agriculture line department. The farmer has started cultivating grapes (Thomson seedless variety) in 2 acres of land and invested around Rs. 1.45 lakhs for 2 acres of land for construction of telephone trellis system of grape vine. Initially he realized approximately 20 tonnes of grape yield for 2 acres of land area and expected to secure gross returns of about Rs. 3 lakhs with net return of about Rs. 1.5 lakhs. However, farmer couldn’t realized much of yield as well as net income in succession due to prevalence of cold wave during winter season especially during month of December and January. As a result of low temperature, crop was infected with downy mildew disease and incurred huge yield loss and increased additional cost for plant protection measures. The actual yield realized by farmer for 2 acres of land was 16.6 tonnes with cost incurred was about Rs. 1.49 lakhs. The gross and net return realized was Rs. 2.40 lakhs and Rs.91576 as shown in Table 1.  

Impact of Agro-met advisory service

Farmer heard about the Agromet Advisory Services (AAS) issued by AICRPAM centre, Vijayapura through its networking centers (ICAR-CRIDA and IMD) and he come to know the service through his farmers friends and get registered with his mobile number to receive AAS bulletin as well as service. The farmer took keen interest about the service and regularly access agro-met advisories from the centre. In the next growing season, he could save his crop from cold wave conditions again appeared in the month of December and January. He was informed in advance about the expected dip in temperature through agromet advisory service (AAS) and also advised farmer on how to maintain the temperature in the field level to save his crop from cold and frost condition. When the temperature drops below a certain limit, the grapes are attacked by downy mildew disease. “By the time we realize that the crop is attacked, it is too late. But, now I am receiving SMS about agro-met services well in advance and come to know about the change in weather condition and through service I also come to know what to do for existing problems arised. That helped us a lot, said Gurupadappa”. Because of AAS service, the same farmer realized around 19 tonnes of yield for his 2 acres of land area in next season and gross returns of Rs. 2.75 lakhs with cost of cultivation of about Rs. 1.42 lakhs and net income realized were about Rs. 1.32 lakhs as clearly depicted in table 1 below. The benefit and cost ratio arrived for AAS and non-AAS situation was 1.9 and 1.61 respectively.  According to him AAS service is one of the best service readily available to farmers in event of uncertain weather conditions. He himself took initiative in his village and advised all his fellow farmers to adopt service. Consequently, almost all farmers in the village get registered their mobile number for accessing the agro-met advisory service. The AICRPAM centre, Vijaypura provide all the relevant weather information (rainfall, temperature, humidity and wind velocity etc.) twice in week to all registered farmers well in advance in free of cost. Based on the advisory, farmers prepare their field activities accordingly and protect from loss occurred or minimize the loss at maximum extent.

Table 1: Cost and return structure of Grapes per acre with and without agro-met advisory service in farmer field of Vijayapura district

VariablesWithout agro-met advisoryserviceWith agro-met advisoryservice
Yield (tonnes/acre)8.39.5
Price (Rs/tonnes)1450014500
Gross Return (Rs/acre)120350137750
Cost of Cultivation (Rs/acre)7456271480
Net Return (Rs/acre)4578866270
B:C Ratio1.611.92

Source: Field survey data

Fig: Grape vine orchid in farmer field of Vijayapura district of Karnataka

Conclusion

It was realized that agro-met advisory service issued by AICRPAM centre based on current and forecasted weather across the country is valuable and advanced agro-based technology readily available with farmers in the light of climate change situation. Dissemination of weather based information well in advance (rainfall, temperature, humidity and wind velocity etc.) is critical for farmers to protect their crop from adverse weather condition. Further, it helps to enhance their farm income or minimize their loss through adjusting their farm activities according to agro-met advisory service received in advance. Due to judicious and timely utilization of inputs, production cost for the AAS farmers reduced. Therefore increased yield level and reduced cost of cultivation led to increased net returns.

References

Bal, S.K., and Minhas, P.S. (2017). Atmospheric Stressors: Challenges and Coping Strategies. In: P.S. Minhas  et al. (eds) Abiotic Stress Management for Resilient Agriculture. Springer Nature  Singapore Pte. Ltd., pp. 9-50.Rathore, L.S., Singh, K.K. and Gupta, A. (2003). National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting: Activities, current status and future plans, In: National Seminar on Agrometeorology in the new millennium: Prospectives and Challenges. October, 20-31, 2003, PAU Ludhiana. Souvenir, pp. 141-147.

Contributed By:

Ravi Dupdal1* Rajkumar Dhakar2, S.L.Patil1, B.S.Naik1   Rajeev Ranjan3 and Mukesh Meena3

1ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Research Centre, Ballari-583104

2 ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi-110012

3ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Research Centre, Datia-475661

*Correspondence Author: [email protected]