Today (23 March 2016) is World Meteorological Day. The behaviour of climate is now a cause for concern as well as an important area for international negotiation, as for example the recent Paris conference. We have to develop strategies both at the macro and micro levels from managing climate in a manner that we optimise agricultural production during favourable climatic conditions, particularly monsoons, and at the same time limit the adverse impact of unfavourable weather. In 1973, in my Sardar Patel Memorial Lectures of the All India Radio, I suggested that to manage climate change we should establish drought, flood, and good weather codes which provide the framework for proactive action. In particular, drought causes great agrarian distress and crop damage. We should get for every block of the country, a Climate Action Map comprising the following three major items of information – date of onset of soaking rains, interspell duration and the moisture holding capacity of the soil. This kind of climate action map was prepared by IMD on my request in the early 70s for the State of Maharashtra. The study was headed by Dr C R V Raman. On the occasion of the World Meteorological Day, we should establish at the local level climate management and drought mitigation centres and train a cadre of community climate risk managers. Women in particular should be enlisted to serve as climate risk managers, since they manage the household requirements of water, fuel work, fodder and food.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.