Winds of Change: ITC, Microsoft, and Skymet Sow Seeds of Climate Resilience in Tobacco Farming

In a significant move to combat the impact of climate change on agriculture, ITC Limited, a prominent Indian conglomerate, has embarked on a pioneering partnership with Microsoft and Skymet, a weather forecasting company. This collaboration is a concerted effort to support tobacco farmers in India, who have been facing severe challenges due to unpredictable weather patterns.

The Challenge

Climate change has been increasingly affecting agriculture worldwide, and the tobacco industry in India is no exception. The tobacco crop, a significant contributor to India’s export revenues, has suffered extensive damage due to climate-related adversities. In recent years, fluctuations in weather conditions, including floods and droughts influenced by phenomena like El-Nino and La-Nina, have led to substantial losses in tobacco production. For instance, tobacco farmers in Karnataka witnessed a drop in output to about 60 million kg against a potential of 90-100 million kg, as regulated by the Tobacco Board. This reduction has had a considerable impact on export revenues, estimated to be in the range of ₹800-900 crore.

The Collaboration

The partnership between ITC, Microsoft, and Skymet is focused on leveraging advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and weather forecasting models. These technologies aim to provide farmers with real-time weather information and predictive analytics. This initiative, utilizing Microsoft’s AI-powered FarmBeats platform and Skymet’s expertise in weather forecasting, is designed to offer personalized advisory services. These services are intended to help farmers make informed decisions and adopt climate-smart agricultural practices.

The Impact

This collaboration is a leap forward in integrating modern technology into agriculture, aiming to enhance the resilience of farmers against climatic uncertainties. By providing crucial information and tools, farmers are empowered to adapt to changing climatic conditions, enhancing crop resilience and overall productivity. The focus is not just on mitigating immediate challenges but also on promoting sustainable agriculture practices for the long term.


The initiative by ITC, Microsoft, and Skymet is a testament to the growing need for technology integration in agriculture, especially in the face of climate change. It addresses historical challenges in agriculture by providing innovative solutions to enhance climate resilience, thereby potentially stabilizing the livelihoods of tobacco farmers and contributing to the socioeconomic fabric of the agricultural sector.



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