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Delhi to host meteorology sessions for agriculture

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) The Indian capital is to host two international brainstorming sessions in the month-end aimed at helping farmers get accurate weather forecast to tide over droughts, floods and cyclones.

The first will be an international workshop on 'Coping with Agrometeorological Risks and Uncertainties--Challenges and Opportunities' during October 25-27. The second, the 14th session of the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), starts on October 28. Both will be held at the Vigyan Bhavan.

India is a founder-member of WMO, the specialised weather agency of the United Nations.

Hosted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the events will give the country an opportunity to strengthen its own plans to give weather information to all 600 districts within five to six years.

''The more weather data we are able to reach the farmers, the smaller will be the risk to agricultural activity,'' Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Kapil Sibal told a news conference today.

At present, weather information is given to farmers through universities and NGOs, but the whole of the country is not covered under the IMD's agromet advisory service.

According to Mr Sibal, modernisation is the key for accurate weather forecast for the farming sector. ''The country can't achieve a 10 per cent GDP growth without at least 4 per cent growth in the agriculture sector,'' he said.

Global Information System and remoting sesnsing are the tools to create a modern weather forecast system for India, according to experts.

Integration of the various departments involved in the farming sector like the Agriculture ministries of the states and Centre, the Space department, Indian Council for Agricultural Research, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast and IMD is another step being implemented.

As many as 160 delegates from 85 countries are expected to attend the workshop, which will have eight sessions to discuss issues like reducing vulnerability to droughts, floods and cylcones.

In its weeklong session, the Commission of Agriculture Meteorology, which is situated in the WMO secretariat in Geneva, will finalise its strategy for the next four years in providing better services to the farming community.


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