A day long farmers’ awareness seminar on “Weather, Climate and Farmers” was organized by Agro-meteorological Field Unit of Regional Agricultural Research Station, Shillongani (Assam agricultural University) on 30th March 2010. The seminar was sponsored by India Meteorological Department under Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. Besides agricultural scientists, extension officers, students of rural agricultural work experience, media person and other invitees nearly seventy farmers participated in the seminar.
The inaugural session started with welcome address by Dr. B. Barman, Chief Scientist, Regional Agricultural Research Station, Shillongani. In his address, Dr. Barman highlighted the contribution of Regional Agricultural Research Station in varietal development related to pulses, oilseeds, jute, wheat and boro paddy.
Dr. P.C. Sarmah, Nodal Officer of the Agromet Advisory Service, Shillongani Unit explained in length about objective of the seminar. He informed the house that the overall goal of the seminar was to make farmers more self reliant in dealing with weather and climate issues that affect agricultural production on their farms and to increase the interaction between the farmers and the Agro-meteorological service providers.
Dr. T.P. Saikia, Programme Coordinator, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Nagaon spoke about the role of KVK in extending the messages of agro-advisory bulletins and also about use of rain gauge by few contact farmers under KVK, Nagaon. Dr. K.K. Nath, Professor and Head, Department of Agrometeorology, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat narrated briefly about the importance of agro-advisory service in context with changing weather scenario of Assam. Dr. H.G. Pathak, Director, Regional Meteorological Centre, Guwahati and Chief Guest of the session formally inaugurated the meeting. The inaugural session ended with offering of vote of thanks by Dr. P.K. Das, Principal Scientist, RARS, Shillongani.
In the pre-lunch Technical session Dr. K.K. Nath delivered a lecture on “Farmers Awakening to Changing Climate”. He dealt in length about different issues related to global warming and agricultural practices. He discussed about strategies to be adopted by the farmers in aberrant weather condition. He appealed to the farmers to look for every single opportunity amidst unfavourable weather condition to maintain/increase the level of their farm production. He further stressed the importance of weather based agro-advisories in farm management. Another resource person Dr. H.G. Pathak discussed in length about characteristic features of precipitation and weather system. He gave an outline of weather events and disaster weather events.
In the post lunch session, Dr. P.Neog, Asssociate Professor, BNCA, Biswanath Chariali elaborated the economic importance of agro-advisory bulletins to the farming community with concrete examples. He explained the need of medium range weather forecast and how to look for forecasts provided by India Meteorological department online using internet facility. Dr. B. Guha, Principal Scientist, RARS, Shillongani discussed about the climatic risk in production of different crops in Central Brahmaputra Valley Zone of Assam. The entire programme was anchored by Ms. Momita Saikia Borah and ended with vote of thanks from Dr. P.C. Sarmah.