ICAR collaboration's with State Agricultural Universities
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in collaboration with State Agricultural Universities has so far prepared 374 district contingency plans to address weather aberrations in the country mainly due to delay in onset of monsoon leading to drought, breaks in monsoon, floods, cyclone, excess and unseasonal rains and other extreme weather events such as heat wave, cold wave, frost and hailstorm. Contingency strategies cover monsoon delays upto 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks and include changes in crop and/or variety preferably of short or medium duration based on length of growing season and cropping sequence followed in the district. The plans do contain changes in cropping pattern/varieties even in paddy growing states if there is a significant delay in monsoon rains or delay in release of irrigation water. These changes are highly location specific depending on the cropping pattern in the district. But in some states/districts with transplanted paddy as the main crop, only change in varieties is suggested as change in cropping pattern is not possible in that situation except for rabi. In all the agro-advisories issued by the Agricultural Universities, the details of short duration varieties to be grown due to deficit rainfall are provided in their websites and also through local media and television channels particularly in deficit rainfall states. This information was given by Shri Tariq Anwar, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries.