Palampur: Agriculture University Palampur has taken an initiative to improve weather advisory services in Himachal Pradesh. In order to enhance the outreach of agro-meteorology advisory services, the Agriculture university is popularising Mobile Apps “Meghdoot” and “DAMINI”.

“Meghdoot” App seamlessly aggregates crop wise advisories at district level issued by Agro-Met Field Units (AMFUs) established in various farm institutes. Gramin Krishi Mausam Service (GKMS) unit has been established in the University which is issuing such advisories for four districts of Chamba, Hamirpur, Una and Kangra on every Tuesday and Friday for the farmers’ benefit. Now, to extend the network at district level, District Agro-Met Units (DAMUs) have been established recently at KVKs Mandi, Sirmour and Bilaspur. Staff has been recruited and trained for these services. Another useful app “DAMINI” for monitoring and alerts for the lightning activity in advance by 35-45 minutes for the benefit of farmers and others is also being popularised at grassroots level.

Prof. Ashok Kumar Sarial, Vice-Chancellor has exhorted the farming community and general masses to download these useful Apps to enhance productivity, reduce crop losses and save precious lives from lightening. He told that the Indian Meteorological Department and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research ( ICAR)  in  collaboration  with  State Agricultural Universities and  other  institutes are jointly extending the network to district level by setting up of DAMUs at KVKs in 530  districts in addition to  existing  130  AMFUs  under GKMS  to  empower the farmers  with  weather  based Agromet Advisory Services  at block level.

Presently, advisories are being disseminated to farmers through multi-channel dissemination system including mKisan portal.

Dr. Ranbir Singh Rana, Nodal officer of GKMS Proejct in the University told that 200 SMS have been sent to 2.89 lakh registered farmers of Chamba, Hamirpur Kangra and Una through mKisan portal in the last three years. Farmers can register on mKisan portal for weather alert and advisory. Theses Apps, developed by IMD, can be downloaded from the google play store.