Srinagar: Nazir Ahmad Wani (48) delayed paddy transplantation for almost two weeks when the weather in Kashmir remained inclement in June.
For days together, he followed the agriculture department’s weather advisory, which helped him to make a better decision to save his crop from damage.
Come September, Wani is expecting an increase of nearly 20 percent in his annual yield. “Last year when I sow paddy, the weather wasn’t suitable and I suffered losses. In May and June, weather wasn’t favorable, but we followed the advisory to save our crop from failures,” he said.
Not only Wani, but farmers across the valley are increasingly following the weather forecasts to make informed decisions that enhance crop yields subsequently.
The cutting-edge weather forecasting technology is making a transformative impact on farming in the valley.
Advanced meteorological models, coupled with data analytics and satellite imagery, have enabled scientists and researchers to provide accurate and timely weather forecasts specific to the Kashmir region. This development has brought about a revolution in farming practices, allowing farmers to anticipate and prepare for adverse weather events.
From agriculture to floriculture and horticulture, the weather advisories by concerned departments are helping the farmers to prevent crop failures and schedule their sprays.
Take the instance of Farooq Ahmed Dar, an orchardist from Pattan, he often struggled with unexpected frost spells damaging their apple crops in previous years. “We used to rely on traditional methods for predicting weather changes. But now, with accurate forecasts, we can take preventive measures, like delaying our spraying schedule. Even we have to alter the pesticide,” he said.
Farmers said the weather forecasting has also significantly improved their irrigation strategies. “Farmers can now adjust their irrigation schedules based on predicted rainfall, reducing water wastage and ensuring efficient water management. This not only conserves a precious resource but also leads to cost savings for the farmers,” Dar said.
Director of Agriculture Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal said they are making use of various technologies to prevent loss to the farmers. “We constantly guide our farming community given the prevailing weather conditions,” he said.