India Intelligence Report

 

 

   Improved Climate Forecasting for Agri Productivity

  The Ministry of Earth Sciences is proposing a new 5-year plan which will provide easily available improved weather forecasting for farmers in the hope that this will improve agricultural productivity and therefore positively impact economic growth.
 

 

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The Ministry of Earth Sciences is proposing a new 5-year plan which will provide easily available improved weather forecasting for farmers in the hope that this will improve agricultural productivity and therefore positively impact economic growth.

Promising to have the new system in place by 2008, Minister Kapil Sibal said that his Ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture, Indian Space Research Organisation, State Departments of Agriculture, agricultural universities and NGOs such as M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation to implement the plan. Revealing this plan while announcing the 14th session of the World Meteorological Organisation's Commission for Agriculture Meteorology hosted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in New Delhi from October 28 to November 3, Sibal said that for India to achieve a 10% economic growth, it needs Agriculture to grow by 4%. IMD says that an apex body involving all collaborators will be set up to monitor the implementation.

What is not clear is whether Sibal is announcing a new plan that is already being rolled out or whether this is a new plan that has just been conceptualized. While there is a critical need for such a plan, it is inconceivable how he can roll out such a plan by 2008 if the plan has just been conceived. Just having all parties agree on a set of requirements for implementation will be a huge task. After that, there are multi-parametric modeling issues, programming, identification of computer systems capable of running such complex software, data collection methodology may have to be changed to suit the new model, reporting mechanisms and formats need to be designed, and above all information delivery mechanisms in multiple languages is key.

Even if the plan is already being implemented, it is inconceivable how it can be rolled out within a 15 months