AIZAWL, Oct 27 - Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a �record of discussions� with Mizoram Government to implement a technical cooperation project titled �Project on capacity enhancement for sustainable agriculture and irrigation development in Mizoram�, in New Delhi on Wednesday.
According to an official statement, rural poverty in Mizoram at 35.4 per cent is higher than India�s average of 25.7 per cent (2011-2012).
Sixty per cent of the State�s population is engaged in agriculture even though the cultivable land is extremely limited as 70 per cent of the land is located in hilly area with more than 35 degree slope. Most of the farmers are engaged in shifting cultivation or jhum that causes rapid deforestation.
�Given this background, the Mizoram Government and JICA implemented the �Study on development and management of land and water resources for sustainable agriculture in Mizoram� from 2013 to 2015. Following the study, a master plan for land and water resource development and management for sustainable agriculture was formulated and officially adopted as the road map by the State Government for future agriculture and irrigation development,� the statement said.
Based on the master plan, the project aims at enhancing sustainable agriculture and irrigation in Mizoram. To achieve the goal, the project will ensure to enhance organisational capacity of the Government of Mizoram to promote sustainable agriculture and irrigation development, the statement said.
JICA will dispatch Japanese experts for assisting development planning, irrigation and O&M, farmers� organisation, food crop cultivation technologies, cash crop cultivation technologies, farm management and marketing, land use and resources management, and environmental and social considerations. The project will also address gender empowerment by facilitating women�s participation in planning and implementation process. Trainings in Japan are also planned.
Takema Sakamoto, chief representative of JICA India, said, �The ultimate goal to be achieved under the project shall be uplifting farmers� income. To achieve this goal, farmer-oriented comprehensive support based on collaboration among the State Government departments is required, since issues facing farmers are diverse and complicated.