Munni Bai, a farmer in Khirkhiri Village at Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh harvested her crop early last year because of a warning she received of heavy rains. Three days after harvesting, heavy rains deluged her village and several farmers lost their crop.
Munni Bai is a farmer and active SHG member in Khirkhiri village at Sheopur. In Rabi 2017-18, Munni Bai sowed chick peas in her farm. CRP Santosh who has as well been advising her SHG members selected Munni Bai’s as a project demonstration plot. Munni Bai is one among the 12,000 women farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar who have managed to safeguard their crops from hail storms or droughts or floods through a weather based advisory system which gives them real time weather updates, specific to their area and not a regional average. Preeti Kumar, an agri economist with the World Bank, explains that a group of lead community resource persons have been identified across villages. These people are equipped with information and smart phones and act as a bridge between farmers and technology. “Usually a farmer wants to know what’s happening in the next three days, the CRP goes to the farmer with the advisory..if a farmer is given advise on when to water, they are able to resist some diseases and save themselves from crop loss.”
The idea behind this project which is part of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission and powered by the World Bank, Sky Met and CropIn Technology is to build climate resilience, understand risks around weather and farm behaviors can be changed – with better seeds, alternate crops in drought areas. If farmers understand what to grow and when to grow it can be very disruptive. The economies of scale to expand the project to more villages is underway.