GUWAHATI, March 8 � An innovative project on water resource development and irrigation for foothill regions is being implemented by the State Agriculture Department during 2010-11 under the Centrally sponsored RKVY programme, Dr Tapan Dutta, Agriculture Adviser to the Chief Minister, told this newspaper here on Sunday.
The sprinkler irrigation system supported by the dug well scheme for foothill regions includes three dug (ring) wells in a cluster and comprises of three farmers. To be complete, the facility is supported by a sprinkler irrigation set for each unit. Incidentally, the scheme has provision for 50 to 60 per cent subsidy. There are 50 such units in the pilot project valued at Rs 68 lakh and is planned to be implemented in Dhemaji, Jorhat, Nagaon, Kamrup and Kokrajhar districts with 10 units each and comprising a total of 150 beneficiaries.
Implemented as per the recommendation of Dr Dutta, the technocrat while disclosing reasons for formulating the scheme said, �I mooted the idea after witnessing the perennial sufferings of the farmers due to lack of adequate irrigation facilities in the foothill regions, which covers almost 20 per cent of the valley areas in the State�. Adding, he said, �croplands are often inundated by flash floods during the monsoon season, while on the contrary there is water inadequacy during most of the remaining period of the year. Moreover, the fertile land is more often than not covered with eroded soil.�
Dr Dutta, an irrigation water management expert, recetly launched the scheme at the Agriculture Training Centre located at Jorhat. The function which was organised by the Department of Agriculture Engineering, was attended by farmers and officers of the departments concerned. The officials explained critical issues to be taken care of during implementation of the scheme. Addressing the farmers, � I narrated success stories with regard to application of sprinkler irrigation system in the flood-affected areas of Majuli river island, where a few non-conventional uses in the crop fields like directed seeded rice and raising of seed nursery, as advised by self, proved successful,� he mentioned.
He also explained about selective use of the system in case of most field crops other than paddy. Moreover, �it has opened up scope for crop diversification in addition to contributing towards increased yield of existing rainfed crops. It has even helped in establishment of plantaton crops, particularly in nurseries as well as in early transplantation stage�, he added.
�This system is convenient even in undulating field with light texture soil, both in foothill regions as well as flood-affected areas�, he disclosed. In course of interaction with the farmers, they responded enthusiastically and took active interest in the discussion. The farmers, according to Dr Dutta, expressed satisfaction after receiving benefit in terms of economic water use efficiency, as explained to them.
The function on the occasion was chaired by Ashim Kumar Barua, Sub Divisional Agriculture Officer of Titabor and Md E Haque, agriculture executive engineer, who initially presented a detailed account of the scheme before the farmers.