To provide better weather information and agriculture services to farmers, India Metrological Department (IMD) has decided to setup three more district agro-met units (DAMU) in Himachal Pradesh.

Presently there are four DAMUs in Chamba district. Three districts that will get DAMUs are Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Bilaspur, KVK Dhulakuan in Sirmaur and KVK Sundernagar in Mandi district.

IMD, Deputy Director General Dr Anand Sharma said that three more DAMU’s for Himachal is on the anvil, which is part of the total 660 DAMU planned in future for district across the country.

He was here in Shimla to attend state level users meet on Agromet advisory services under the Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS) Scheme. Currently the IMD has 130 DAMUs across the country, which has been established by IMD in the KVK, under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in collaboration with the ministry of agriculture, he added.

Earlier this year, in the month of April, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between IMD and ICAR, and jointly they will provide Agro-Met Advisory Services (AAS) in local languages across the country for the farming community in different climatic zones to improve productivity and reduce risk, he informed.

Some of the proposed activities of ICAR-IMD for setting up of DAMUs include communication through Agricultural Technology Application Institutes (ATARI) to KVK, formation of expert panel at each unit for preparation of agro-met advisory and also IMD will provide long term data to DAMUs.

Agro-met Field Units uses weather information from the weather stations and weather forecasts to provide district-specific agro-met services and crop-related advisory to the farmers which is disseminated through the DAMUs to the respective districts, he said.

There are also plans to take the information to the block level and provide advisory to the farming comminity, he added.

He further informed that there are over 7, 50,208 farmers of Himachal registered with MKisan portal and are getting Nowcast-Extreme weather alerts.

These include Kullu (59695), Chamba (52152), Lahaul-Spiti (1277), Kinnaur (18778), Kangra (98700), Hamirpur (57671), Una (69485), Bilaspur (22960), Mandi (88578), Solan (74048), Shimla (163885) and Sirmaur (43199).