Here’s some helpful news for farmers in Maharashtra!
As an effective measure towards understanding weather cycles and crop patterns that would benefit farmers, Automated Weather Stations or AWS, will be set up across the state this year, as reported by India Today.
The farmers from the village of Dongargaon, Nagpur, would be the first to be aided by the weather station that was inaugurated by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday. Close to 2,065 such stations will come up in the state on PPP (public private partnership) models within this year and 1,000 of these will be set up by June, Fadnavis told India Today.
The state government has collaborated with Skymet Weather Private Ltd, a private weather forecasting firm, for the project Mahavedh under which a network of AWS will be launched.
For representational purposes only. Source: Flickr
So, an AWS is an automated version of the traditional weather station, basically created to save human labour or to enable measurements from remote areas. It typically consists of a weatherproof enclosure that contains a data logger, rechargeable battery and the meteorological sensors with either an attached solar panel or wind turbine and mounted upon a mast. The system may report in near real time via a set telecommunication system or save the data for later recovery.
So how is this going to benefit a farmer?
The AWS will be helpful in measuring the accuracy in rain pattern, humidity and expected rainfall also including informing about the best crop for the farmers. The gathered information will be shared to the farmers through the Mahavedh portal, the state’s agriculture-weather information network as well as the Skymet mobile application.
The farmers, based on the information provided by the AWS, can go ahead with the sowing in a much better and planned way in accordance to the weather conditions. The role of the weather station will be significant since the Indian Meteorological Department or IMD forecast pertains only to zones and not taluks.
Not only will the weather station provide forecasts up to the taluk level, each taluk will have one station well within taluk perimeters, promised by the chief minister, according to India Today.
Also, in every Gram Panchayat, digital kiosks will be set-up that will give out weather related information and expert advice on crop patterns that can be followed by the farmers. The information will be shared to them via SMSs during the first phase, followed by half hourly updates that will be across all GPs in the second phase.
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With the ability to record important farming parameters such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, rainfall, solar radiation, leaf wetness, soil moisture, atmospheric pressure and evapo-transpiration, this step will be play a significant role in the life of the farmers.
The AWS data will also be used by the state government for better preparation for location-specific agriculture advisories, better disaster management, designing crop insurance schemes and for establishing a weather database bank, according to India Today.