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‘Meghdoot’ developed for alerting farmers

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PRASHANT NIKALE

NASHIK :

Farmers in Nashik are very dependent on weather conditions. From the past few years, sudden changes in weather have been observed. These changes have resulted in immense loss of crop for farmers. The major crops in the district like onion, grapes, maize, rice, pomegranate and others have been hit by the extensive rains last year. To make the farmers alert about such changes in weather, Indian Meteorology Department (IMD) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under the Ministry of Earth and Sciences, Government of India has developed ‘Meghdoot’, a smartphone weather alert application.

It has been developed to give timely weather alerts to the farmers in the district as well as in the country. It will provide information on current temperature, humidity, wind speed, direction and precipitation in its quick view window. Farmers can access the forecast for the next five days. The app will also provide information about past forecast to the user.

Anyone can access this information with the registration of mobile number on the app. The application will get inputs from its Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva (GKMS) centre. For Nashik district, the input will be provided by Agriculture Zonal Research Station of Mahatma Phule Agriculture University, Igatpuri.

The Zonal Station also handles GKMS observatory at Igatpuri and provides agricultural advisory of weather department. All-weather inputs of Nashik district will be gathered by this GKMS centre and will be provided to the app for daily feed. The officials from the centre have requested that farmers should take benefit of this smartphone application. This application can download by android as well as iOS users from their app stores.

“This application will send an early alert to the farmers and will guide them on the weather conditions. An early alert can help them to tackle the unsudden weather conditions in the district. Every farmer in the district should download this application free of cost, to manage their crop.”

11 languages of app

The application is available in 11 different languages. The application will also provide information in the Marathi language. The user will have to select his preferred language before logging in the application. With the Marathi language, the application is also available in Panjabi, Hindi, English, Udiya, Gujarati and other five languages.

Crop wise advisory

The application has a very distinct feature for every farmer. The previous advisories had limitations and use to cover only a few crops, which was not useful for every farmer. The ‘Meghdoot’ will provide different advisory for each crop. The farmer can select for his available crop and will get the advisory according to the crop. The applications show crops as per the location; like for Nashik, it shows information of wheat, groundnut, onion, grapes and other crops. It also shows advisory for live stocks.

– Dr Dattatraya Kusalkar, Nodal Officer, GKMS
 
“The users can access the weather bulletin published by IMD every Tuesday and Friday. The message and emails to share the advisory has limitations. For message alert, the word limit becomes a hurdle to cover all the elements of advisory. With the smartphone application, we will reach maximum number of farmers. The five days forecast will help them to plan about the crops like watering and harvesting of crops.”

-G N Phulpagare, Research Associate and technical assistant, GKMS

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