- Agriculture contributes to 17% of India’s GDP while the global average is only 4%. The agricultural sector also employs 47.2% of the population, compared to the global average of 30.7%.
Climate change has destroyed agricultureand ruined farmers in Marathwada, India. According to agricultural scientists, the heat wave that India witnessed in 2013 had reduced four million tonnes of the total wheat production. By 2030, rice and wheat are likely to see about 6-10 percent decrease in yields
“Climate change affects all the three aspects of food security: availability, access and absorption.” – B. Venkateshwarlu, the former director at CRIDA.
The Indian government has begun to address farmers vulnerability due to extreme weather conditions and have introduced a $1.3bn crop insurance scheme at the start of 2016 to help farmers cope with crop failure due to natural disasters. However, only 19% of India’s farmers have insured their crops. This could be due to various factors such as lack of awareness about the practice of crop insurance, the cost associated with it and lack of availability.
Extreme weather conditions have a significant impact on food and agriculture sector. The increasing severity of droughts, floods, hailstorms and other extreme weather events affect the livelihood of small-scale farmers. The most common climate anomaly witnessed in India are
- Cold waves
- Heat waves
- Drought and
Change in weather condition can affect agriculture in many ways. It could lead to limited water resources, flooding, erosion, drought and or land degradation. Information is the key and in order to help Indian farmers combat challenges linked with climate change, it is important to provide relevant information at the right time to take preventive steps.
Different crops react differently to climatic change. For example, rice, wheat, maize and sorghum are the worst hit by the Indian climatic change. However, crops like potatoes, chickpea and mustard will have little to no impact. Knowing the crop and its reaction to weather helps in a well-planned sowing and harvesting in 2017.
By providing effective weather and climate information in a timely manner, farmers can reduce their agricultural yield risks.It will also help in improvement of the quality of the produce, the quantity of the yield and reduce the risk and loss associated with extreme weather condition. Water consumption in agriculture is a phenomenal amount in India compared to China and other countries. By keeping track of the weather condition in the form of timely alerts helps in optimising the use of water for agriculture too.
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MyFarmInfo.com is an agriculture information system to help farmer maximize their income by providing them ways to increase their yield and help them get the best price for their produce.
Let us look at the case of Citrus farmers in Abohar, India. Due to extreme weather condition, here are few key challenges faced by them.
Key Challenges faced by farmers
- Fruit Drop
- Nutrient Imbalance
- Untimely Irrigation
- High Water
With the help of My Farm Info, farmers were geo-tagged for all their fields. Precise details about the farm can be viewed by hovering over the farm location on this platform. The latest weather data & forecasts for Temperature / Rainfall / Humidity / Wind can be seen. It also provides historical data for all these parameters for farmers to analyze and draw insight.
Alerts in the form of SMS was sent to farmers to notify on Temperature / Rainfall / Humidity / Wind changes.The forecast provided is accurate as it syncs the weather data from weather stations automatically.
Not just that, My Farm Info provides Soil Information including Cation Exchange Capacity, Clay Content, Soil pH and comprehensive soil data to help farmers make optimum cultivation decisions.
Soil Moisture Sensors planted in the citrus fields can bring appropriate technology to direct and optimize impactful action for farmers. The Crop Management Solution in My Farm Info provides nutrition advisory for citrus ensuring that the farmer has access to crop nutrition oversight throughout its life cycle.
The primary need of a farmer is a location-specific and quantified weather forecast. These Services provided by My Farm Info meets the real-time needs of farmers and contribute to weather-based crop management strategies aiming to enhance crop productivity. Farmers income can be further increased by reducing their losses and distress due to extreme weather condition.
Advantages of this tool to monitor weather conditions in India
Prevention of fruit drop
Balanced nutrition for the crops
Timely irrigation with regular alerts
Soil Moisture sensors to provide exact details of the crop’s need.
Efficient water and nutrient management
High quality of produce
Increased quantity of crop
Cost effective than battle losses later and more…
With varying climatic condition, farmers need to adapt to the changing need and grow a multitude of crops in any given area. Feasibility of production can be easily obtained from the My Farm Info tool. Crop diversification is one of the methods to fight climate change that will enable higher food production and income for the farmers.