IIT-KGP develops weather forecast system to help farmers

    Kolkata, Jul 18 (PTI) Researchers at IIT Kharagpur
have developed an advanced weather forecast system to help
farmers in agricultural activities and reduce climatic risks,
an official said on Saturday.
    The institute in collaboration with the India
Meteorological Department started offering an agro-advisory to
cultivators to improve their production in different weather
conditions, the IIT-KGP spokesperson said.
    Sponsored by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, two
projects - 'Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa' and 'Forecasting
Agricultural output using Space, Agrometeorology and Land-
based observations' - provide weather information to farmers
to improve their economic return, the official said.
    "The agro-advisory offers crop selection, planting
time, land preparation, input management and yield. It is
based on future weather and land characteristics of a specific
location," agricultural and food engineering department's
professor Dilip Kumar Swain said.
    Farmers get awareness on managing inputs such as
fertiliser, irrigation and pesticide every week throughout the
cropping season.
    "Based on a five-day weather forecast, the agro-
advisory is prepared on Tuesday and Friday every week and sent
to farmers' cell phones, he said.
    The advisory is being sent in Bengali to about three
lakh farmers of West Medinipur, Jhargram, Bankura, Birbhum,
and Purulia in West Bengal.
    Using the advisory, they can protect their crop from
extreme weather events and reduce production cost by need-
based irrigation, fertiliser and pesticide applications, the
professor said.
    IIT Kharagpur director professor Virendra Kumar Tewari
said, "Besides sending the agro-advisory, we also conduct
training and awareness programmes regularly in villages on
organic and integrated farming and advanced production
technology for sustainable agricultural growth." PTI SUS

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)