University of Agricultural Sciences in Dharwad has effectively used modern technology to disseminate information to farmers, thus helping them to avert any possible crop loss and other damages. It has sent over half a million SMSes to farmers in the districts under its purview on weather changes over the last two years.
Experiments on weather resilience of crops (groundnut, chilli, maize wheat, chickpea and sorghum) and their varieties have been undertaken through the ‘Institute for Agricultural Research on Climate Change’ established under the Rashtreeya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) with an outlay of Rs 10.50 crore.
Under this programme, automatic weather stations have been established across 12 research stations of the university.
Farmer Channabasappa of Basavana Bagewadi in Bijapur district was saved from the possibility of a huge crop loss, thanks to the SMS he received from the University of Agricultural Sciences. The SMS had warned him of the weather change in the next 24 hours and the farmer could transport his produce lying in the field after harvesting it, to a safer place.
Channabasappa is not the only one who has benefited from the initiative of the newly-established ‘Institute for Agricultural Research on Climate Change’, the first of its kind in India, at Bijapur by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad. As many as half a million SMSes have been sent by the institution to farmers under the purview of the UAS, Dharwad from time to time informing them of the impending change in the weather.
Set up under RKVY programme with an outlay of Rs 10.50 crore, the ‘Institute for Agricultural Research on Climate Change’ has effectively used modern technology to disseminate information to farmers in its purview and helped them avert possible crop loss and other damages.
H Venkatesh, an agrometereologist, heading the institute said the main objective of the institute is to identify crop varieties that can withstand changing climatic conditions.
“Bijapur district alone has seen inconsistent and unprecedented conditions in that last 12 years, with extreme cold, prolonged dry spell, and flood-like situations. Such volatile conditions greatly affect crops and cropping patterns.
Scientists have noticed that due to global warming, climatic conditions have become extremely unpredictable. Our focus would be on studying how the different crops respond to such weather conditions, which varieties are more susceptible, and which could be adopted to sowing in future,” Venkatesh explained.
Three open top chambers (OTC) have been set up in which artificial climatic conditions would be created for the different crops to study their responses, he said. The main focus is on carbon dioxide and heat as these are the primary elements that increase due to the global warming. The study will help us not only in identifying the best species, but also in finding remedial measures to develop strong varieties.