Assessment of India's Agrometeorological Advisory Service from a farmer perspective
This report summarizes the results of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate
Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) commissioned evaluation of India’s
Integrated Agro-meteorological Advisory Service (AAS). Conducted June-July of
2012, this assessment was a joint endeavour of CCAFS, the International Crops
Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, and the India Meteorological
Department (IMD). The assessment sought to offer transferable lessons that can guide
investment in climate/agro-meteorological advisory services elsewhere in the world.
Researchers conducted focus groups and individual interviews with 132 male and
female farmers in eighteen villages across six states about how they receive and use
AAS advisories, perceived gaps, and suggestions for improvement. The assessment
uncovered the key role of diverse communications approaches. In villages where
many communications channels were used to disseminate AAS information, such as
SMS and voice messaging, meetings and trainings with agricultural extension
officers, local knowledge centers, farmers clubs, and announcements over the
microphone in villages, awareness and use of AAS advisories was higher. Farmers
noted that trainings and discussions with agricultural extension officers at the village
level were their preferred form of receiving information. However, ensuring wide
representation in discussions is critical. In villages where women were fully engaged
in receiving and disseminating AAS information, use and potential benefit from the
program were maximized. Women overall had lower awareness of AAS than men do,
indicating the importance of targeting women and information that responds to the
demands of women in communications efforts. The establishment of specific trainings
and discussions on AAS for women farmers in the villages was recommended by
farmers, as were trainings and interactions with scientists that all farmers can attend.
Membership in women’s or farmers groups may be a positive factor in increasing
awareness of AAS information, and extension services targeting existing local groups
could be a strategy for increasing the impact of AAS information.
Venkatasubramanian K, Tall A, Hansen J, Aggarwal P. 2014. Assessment of India’s integrated agrometeorological advisory service from a farmer perspective. CCAFS Working Paper no. 54. Copenhagen, Denmark: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).