The ICAR-CRIDA in Hyderabad has developed an app called Farmers Distress Index, which is funded by NABARD. The project is led by Dr. Amarender Reddy, who is the Principal Scientist and Head of the Section of Design and Analysis at ICAR-CRIDA. The app was released by Dr. T. Mohapatra, former Director General of ICAR in the presence of other officials.
The app acts as a forewarning system by giving a warning three months before widespread farmers distress is set to occur. It uses seven dimensions and 21 questions to measure and probe areas affected by droughts. The app will help local governments to take timely action and reduce the severity of the distress.
The app will ask farmers questions through their phone and input the data directly into the app. The app then generates reports on the severity of distress in the locality. The seven dimensions of farmers distress index include exposure to hazards, sensitivity to exposure to droughts and other weather calamities, the adoptive capacity of farmers to adopt improved varieties and modern climate resilient technologies, mitigation and adaptation strategies for droughts, pest and disease, triggers for extreme distress like borewell failure, health problems and disability, socio-psychological aspects like pressure from money lenders for debt repayment, and overall impacts on farmers income, employment and livelihoods.