India's Integrated Agro-meteorological Advisory Service (AAS)India

Background 1

India’s Integrated Agro-meteorological Advisory Service (AAS) program is one of the largest agrometeorological information programs in the world. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) started broadcasting weather services for farmers by radio in 1945. In 1976, IMD started working with state governments to issue forecast-based advisories. In 1988, the National Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) began piloting agro-meteorological advisories based on 5-day forecasts. IMD took over leadership of the AAS in 2007 and launched a District-level Agrometeorological Advisory Service (DAAS) in 2008, with the aim of providing relevant weather information and management advisories at a district scale across the country.

The program provides meteorological (weather forecasting), agricultural (identifying how weather forecasts affect farming), extension (two-way communication with users) and information dissemination (media, IT and others) services. Tailoring information to farmer needs at a district scale is accomplished through multi-institutional teams, or “Agro-Meteorological Field Units” in each of the 127 agro-climatic zones.

Relationship to CSA

Maini and Rathore (2011) 2 noted that AAS had contributed to both greater productivity and increased resilience by encouraging farmers to adopt modern agricultural production technologies and practices, weather-based irrigation management, pest/disease management, and the use of improved post-harvest technologies.

Impacts and lessons learned

The current number of farmers that benefit from AAS is not known, but in 2011 IMD estimated the number to be 3 million and made a commitment to reach at least 10 million within a year. Factors that have contributed to the success of the program include: 

  • Co-production of information and advisories by teams of agricultural and meteorological experts. 
  • Sustained institutional partnerships at a sufficiently local level to provide relevant information and advisories.
  • Use of diverse communications channels, including: SMS and voice messaging, media, internet, meetings and training events, village knowledge centers, local NGOs, farmers clubs, farmer fairs, and bulletins.

Although village-level meetings and training events have proven effective, supporting equitable involvement of women, lower-caste and other disadvantaged groups of farmers has been identified as a challenge.


CCAFS Big Facts - Weather-based agricultural advice boosting agricultural production in India:


  • 1

    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: CCAFS. 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 endeavor 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.
  • 2

    Maini P, Rathore LS. 2011. Economic impact assessment of the Agrometeorological Advisory Service of India. Current Science 101(10):1296-1310. A pilot study was conducted to assess the economic impact of weather forecast-based advisories issued to 15 of the 127 Agrometeorological Advisory Service (AAS) units of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. Six seasons comprising three Kharif (summer) and three Rabi (winter) during 2003–2007 were chosen. The major crops chosen for the study included food grains, oilseeds, cash crops, fruit and vegetable crops. The sample set consisted of 80 farmers, comprising 40 responding and 40 non-responding farmers. The main aim was to study the percentage increase/decrease in the yield and net return due to AAS. Results obtained suggest that the AAS farmers accrued a net benefit of 10–15% in the overall yield and a reduction by 2–5% in the cost of cultivation over the non-AAS farmers.

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CCAFS Climate-Smart Agriculture 101

The basics

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrative approach to address these interlinked challenges of food security and climate change, that explicitly aims for three objectives:

A. Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, to support equitable increases in farm incomes, food security and development;

B. Adapting and building resilience of agricultural and food security systems to climate change at multiple levels; and

C. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (including crops, livestock and fisheries).

Entry points

Agriculture affects and is affected by climate change in a wide range of ways and there are numerous entry points for initiating CSA programmes or enhancing existing activities. Productivity, mitigation and adaptation actions can take place at different technological, organizational, institutional and political levels. To help you navigate these myriad entry points we have grouped them under three Thematic Areas: (i) CSA practices, (ii) CSA systems approaches, and (iii) Enabling environments for CSA. Each entry point is then described and analysed in terms of productivity, adoption and mitigation potential and is illustrated with cases studies, references and internet links for further information.

Develop a CSA plan

Planning for, implementing and monitoring CSA projects and programmes evolves around issues of understanding the context including identification of major problems/barriers and opportunities related to the focus of the programme; developing and prioritizing solutions and designing plans; implementation; and monitoring and evaluation. Most major development agencies have their own framework for project and programme formulation and management but CCAFS has developed a specific approach for planning, implementing and assessing CSA projects and programme called CSA plan. CSA plan was developed to provide a guide for operationalizing CSA planning, implementation and monitoring at scale. CSA plan consist of four major components: (1) Situation analysis; (2) Targeting and prioritizing; (3) Program support; and (4) Monitoring. evaluation and learning.


To meet the objectives of CSA, such as agricultural development, food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation, a number of potential funding sources are available. For instance, climate finance sources may be used to leverage agriculture finance and mainstream climate change into agricultural investments. This section offers an overview of potential sources of funding for activities in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) at national, regional and international levels and for a number of different potential ‘clients’ including governments, civil society, development organizations and others. Additionally, it includes options to search among a range of funding opportunities according to CSA focus area, sector and financing instrument.

Resource library

CSA Guide provides a short and concise introduction and overview of the multifaceted aspects of climate-smart agriculture. At the same time it offers links to references and key resources that allows for further investigations and understanding of specific topics of interest. In the resource library we have gathered all the references, key resources, terms and questions in one place for a quick overview and easy access that can be used as a part of or independently of the other sections of the website. The resource library is divided into six sections; (1) References – list all publications, links and blogs referred to on the website; (2) Tools – list all the CSA tools presented on the website; (3) Key terms – explains the most important and frequently used terms related to CSA; (4) Frequently asked questions (FAQ) – provides a rapid overview of the most common questions asked on climate-smart agriculture; (5) About – where you can find out more about the purpose and structure of, as well as on the organizations and authors behind the website; (6) Contact.

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