Meteorological observatories for guidelines on weather for farmers

Kolkata: In a unique initiative, the state agriculture department is installing as many as 180 meteorological observatories in the agricultural farms and research stations across the state to study the weather conditions beforehand and issue guidelines to the farmers as to what measures have to be taken.

Weather system is one of the most important factors that determine the production of various crops in the state. Each meteorological observatory has a rain gauge station. One of the main objectives of the new initiative is to study

the weather conditions of the state and to disseminate information among the farmers relating to weather.

These meteorological observatories will record temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and also the direction of wind. The weather data collected from these observatories will not only serve the research and extension wings of the state agricultural department but also fulfill the needs of

various other departments, administration, universities, research organisations as well. The feedbacks given by these observatories will also be utilised for crop insurance by the farmers.

It may be mentioned here that due to unpredictable weather, the farmers often incur huge losses due to damage caused by a shortage of rainfall, hailstorms or excessive rainfall. It would be immensely handy for them if the agriculture department provides them prior information relating to various weather aspects. Incidentally, in the past two months farmers from various districts in South Bengal faced inconveniences as a scarcity of rainfall damaged their crops.

The department has already taken up elaborate scheme to spread awareness among the farmers about the ill effects of environmental hazards caused due to indiscriminate and non-judicious application of chemical pesticides.

The plant protection wing of the directorate under the Agriculture department has been implementing 'Bio Village Demonstration Programme', a seed treatment campaign to overcome various environmental hazards. The department is also promoting bio fertilizers through awareness. The plant protection wing is also taking necessary steps to combat threats to different crops due to environmental hazards and bad weather thereby safeguarding the interest of the farmers.

To ensure the quality of pesticides, measures are being taken for examining pesticide samples. Analysing the quality of pesticide samples are done in various government run laboratories in the state.

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