After reports of the success of cloud seeding in the US, Australia and the Philippines, Union agriculture minister Balram Jakhar has become a strong votary of the practice. "There is no reason why cloud seeding cannot become a major component of our dry-land farming programmes," he says.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has been instructed to identify rain-shadow areas for the large-scale cloud-seeding programme, scheduled to begin next year. A special unit consisting of scientists from the ministry, the Indian Meteorological Department, the National Remote Sensing Agency and ICAR has been formed for the purpose.
Jakhar has decided to put the ministry's aviation wing to work. To bring the programme into operation quickly, the ministry has asked the former feeder airline Vayudoot to return all the aircraft that had been loaned to it. Jakhar has also written to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization for assistance in procuring more planes, which it has reportedly acceded.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.