27th June 2016, Guwahati
Interface meetings on enhancing the preparedness for agriculture contingencies such as floods and mid season droughts during kharif 2016 for Assam was jointly organized by ICAR-Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), ICAR Research Complex for North East Region, Umiam and Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare at Guwahati today.
Sri Amlan Baruah, Secreatary (Agriculture) in his address desired that village level worker, a link between the department and farmer should be made aware the contingency plans and implementation need to be made through them. He advised the district officials to stabilize and enhance the income of farmers in spite of weather aberrations. He also made a plea to officials to enhance the rabi cultivated in Assam specially with pulses and oilseeds and use the available technologies from AAU.
Dr Ch Srinivasa Rao, Director ICAR-CRIDA informed that contingency plans for 22 districts of Assam are completed and available in public domain. He a lso informed about the sensitization meetings being at various states in view of monsoon forecast for the regions.
Dr KV Rao, ICAR-CRIDA informed the status of monsoon and stressed upon the need for contingency preparation in view of below normal rainfall which may impact the crops during mid or end of season and also for flash flood situations which are common in this region.
Dr GN Hazarika, Director (Research), Assam Agricultural University appraised the officials about technologies developed at AAU both submergence rice varieties, natural resource management technologies for efficient use of available resources. He informed the audience about the possibility of rabi crop in spite of deficient rainfall and suggested for promotion of short duration rice varieties, staggered nursery planting in the event post flood scenarios.
Recommendations for Assam
1. Priority to be given for interventions to overcome flash flood and mid season/ terminal drought situations
2. Village level extension workers to be appraised of contingency plans and to be involved actively in implementation
3. Efforts to be made to promote farm ponds in every farm holding to face the mid season droughts
4. Bund height needs to be increased for additional water storage in rice fields
5. In flood prone regions, emphasis to be given for rabi action plans and link them up for enhancing production of pulses and oilseeds
6. Flood tolerant varieties to be promoted as a long term measure in chronically flood affected districts
7. Diesel pumps on subsidy to be given to make use of shallow groundwater particularly mid season droughts
8. Summer rice (boro rice) sowings to be completed before end of November to overcome terminal drought in March/April
9. Short duration rice varieties are to be promoted in post flood situations
10. Mid lands and uplands can be diversified with high value horticulture systems in place of rice
11. Ensuring fodder availability and proper housing for livestock be given priority for livelihood stability
12. Capacity building for district level officials to be taken up at AAU, Jorhat to convert contingency plans into action plans for implementation
13. Agro-advisories and weather bulletins to be disseminated through local channels and SMSs.
Senior Officials from State Agriculture University, State Agriculture Department, Program Coordinators of KVKs local ICAR Institutes and AICRPDA, AICRPAM centres, participated in the workshop.
(Source: ICAR-Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, Hyderabad)