AP’s ‘Rythu Kosam’ ropes in ICRISAT

September 14, 2016 12:00 am | Updated November 01, 2016 06:23 pm IST - PATANCHERU (MEDAK DISTRICT):

The effort by the ICRISAT in association with Microsoft and aWhere was to reduce expenditure by farmers

Keep fertilizers (based on soil test) ready for application. Prepare the land for sowing, was the advisory received by farmers of Devanakonda mandal in Kurnool district on June 15.

Apply four to five tonnes of farm yard manure (FYM) at secondary tillage. Optimum sowing date will be disseminated to you through SMS, was another advisory sent on June 20. The messages were both in English and Telugu.

“Sowing of rain-fed groundnut crop can be initiated. Seed treatment is essential before sowing. Ensure optimum soil moisture while sowing. Place the seed at a depth of about 5 centimetre in the soil,” was third advisory sent to them on June 24 and again on June 27.

Similar advisories were continued till August 17 the last message suggesting applying of required fertilizer.

These messages were generated by the scientists of International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based on the soil conditions as part of Rythu Kosam programme taken up by Andhra Pradesh Primary Sector Mission (APPSM) on pilot basis.

In addition to Devanakonda mandal, Sambepalle madnal of Kadapa district was also selected for this purpose with 175 farmers and 200 farmers respectively getting registered with the ICRISAT.

Scientists from the ICRISAT visited these villages and collected the details of soil condition of each chunk of land of the farmers registered with it. Based on the soil condition, the rainfall received and the weather predictions, the scientists began issuing advisories to the farmers sowing groundnut.

More than 90 per cent of the farmers waited from June 14 to June 24 for the SMS from the ICRISAT and then took up the sowing activity.

The effort by the ICRISAT in association with Microsoft and aWhere was aimed at reducing the unnecessary expenditure by the farmers.

Weather variability significantly impacts crop yields. Clear understanding of climate helps in devising suitable management practices for taking advantage of the favourable weather conditions and avoiding or minimizing risks due to adverse weather conditions, said A.V.R. Keshava Rao, Scientist, Agro-meteorology.

“We collect the details of soil condition and to which extent it can hold water. The predictions are made based on sufficient moisture adequacy index (MAI). This can minimise the cost of cultivation and failure rate can also be reduced,” said Suhas P. Wani, Research Programme Director, ICRISAT told The Hindu .

Various management advisories suitable at different phenological stages of groundnut crop are prepared for need-based dissemination to the farmers. Development of a full-fledged computer application programme (App) for possible linkage to cloud computing and other services is underway.

The predictions are made based on sufficient moisture adequacy index (MAI).

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