The “World Water Day” observed at ICAR research complex for NEH Region, Umiam

Shillong, March 22: The World Water Day was celebrated at ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam, Meghalaya today with the theme “Valuing Water” under the guidance of Dr. Vinay Kumar Mishra, Director of the Institute who recently  took charge as the full time director of the reputed institute spearheading agricultural activities of the region.

The motive of the programme was to sensitize the importance of water conservation and in overcoming water scarcity. Despite being home to the World’s highest rainfall receiving zone the region currently faces water crisis for more than half the year.

Around 120 farmers across Meghalaya, twenty officials from Meghalaya State Government Soil and Water Conservation Departments, forty-five scientists, students, research scholars and other staff of the Institute took active participation in the day-long program.

Dr. K. K. Sarma, Scientist “SG” from the Northeastern Space Applications Center, Barapani graced the occasion as Chief Guest. The Director of the Institute, Dr. V.K. Mishra also the chairman of the programme addressing the farmers said that the worth of water is not realized until the well is dry.

The region faces the challenge of low water use efficiency, and focus should be more on per drop more crop.  He also presented a road map to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of water resource in the Northeastern Region of India.

He discussed and interacted on major issues and future challenges, priority areas and management strategies needed in the current and future perspectives to avert the threat of glooming water crisis (mostly in rainless dry rabi season) the region is facing in sustaining and improving water productivity in hill agriculture and allied sectors.

Dr. V K Mishra, Director of the Institute also distributed essential inputs (seeds, planting materials, and others) and farm tools developed by the Institute to the representative (village-wise) farmers. Dr. K.K. Sarma presented how the advanced geo-spatial techniques (Remote Sensing and GIS) can be used even at farm level in hill agriculture for sustainable development and management of water resources.

Dr. B.U.Choudhury (Pr. Scientist, Soil Physics and Water Conservation) presented “Past decades research and development achievement on water resources management by ICAR Research Complex”.

There were guest lecturers on “Micro-irrigation: feasibility and potential applications in Hill agriculture” delivered by Dr. B. K. Sethy (Pr. Scientist, Land, and Water Management Engineering) and “Crop water stress management in hill agriculture- bio-physiological approach” delivered by Dr. R. Krishnappa (Scientist, Crop Physiology). The institute KVK (Ri-Bhoi) also participated actively along with 50 farmers in the program.

Farmer-scientist interaction session focused more on the day to day problems faced by the farming community and how conservation of water is the need of the hour. How rainwater harvesting can be used in the best possible way was also discussed.

Experts from natural resource management, crop protection and production, animal production and health management, agricultural extension, and KVK SMSs took active part in the interaction.  Throughout the program, Dr. H D Talang translated the exchange of knowledge in local languages (Khasi) for a better understanding of the farmers.

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