JORHAT, Oct 26 - Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Town and Country Planning Atul Bora urged scientists yesterday to develop sustainable technologies that could address the twin problems of water scarcity and plenty, which Assam suffered from.
Addressing the inaugural session of the three-day 27th National Conference of Soil Conservation Society of India, New Delhi on �Sustainable Management of Soil and Water Resources for Doubling Farmers� Income� at the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) at Borbheta here on Thursday, Bora said that during the monsoon season most of the time there is plenty of water resulting in floods in many places of the State, while on the contrary there is scarcity of water due to drought-like situations following delay in onset of the monsoon season.
The Minister said that in both the situations the farmers are adversely affected. Bora also pointed out the problem of massive soil erosion by the rivers, mostly by the massive Brahmaputra, which is highly braided and carries a lot of undercurrent.
He asked the scientists to develop technologies to overcome the impediments faced by the farmers so that their livelihoods are not hampered.
The Minister also said that the challenge lay in developing strategies and technologies with the help of GPS and artificial intelligence in order to replenish the soil.
He also mentioned about the steps initiated by the State Government for the benefit of the farmers, which included issuance of soil health cards to the farmers.
Bora said that the Green Revolution might have converted India from a food-deficient country to a food-surplus one, but there was a growing realisation over the years that this had been possible only at the cost of soil and water, due to injudicious use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and weedicides.
�Farmers� incomes could not be doubled by 2022 without food production and their base being soil and water being made healthy,� Bora said.
The Vice Chancellor of Assam Agricultural University Dr KM Bujarbaruah in his address as the guest of honour said that for years people had been misusing and misutilising the soil and the time was ripe for finding ways to restore soil health.
�The conference, it is hoped, would formulate research projects and strategies which would aim at conserving and managing our soil and water resources,� Bujarbaruah said.
�Soil is not a commodity. It is the community which goes on feeding us. If we do not take care of this vital resource, then we will have no future,� he said.
Dr Suraj Bhan, president of Soil Conservation Society of India, while narrating the establishment of the Society in 1951 and its varied activities, including analysing soil health and data regarding depredations of the soil in the entire nation, urged upon scientists and AAU students to join the Society as members so that their objectives could be fulfilled.
A souvenir titled Book of Abstracts was released on the occasion and several awards were given away by the Society in different categories on the occasion.
Earlier, Dr A Bhattacharyya, Director of Research, AAU, and chairman of the organising committee of the conference presented the welcome address. Later, Dr Nilay Borah, Professor of Soil Science, who is the organising secretary of the conference, subsequently offered the vote of thanks.