Contingency Preparedness towards Floods and Mid-season Droughts in Meghalaya

28th June 2016, Umiam

Contingency Preparedness towards Floods and Mid-season Droughts in MeghalayaInterface meetings on enhancing the preparedness for agriculture contingencies such as floods and mid season droughts during kharif 2016 for Meghalaya 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 Umiam today

Dr Premjit Singh, Vice Chancellor, Central Agricultural University in his remarks observed that in spite of more than annual rainfall of 2000mm, water scarcity is a constant problem in this state and requested the department to plan for long term measures with focus on rain water harvesting systems and enhancing the rabi area and production with micro irrigation systems.  He also stressed upon the availability of quality seed suited to the region and informed the efforts made by CAU on seed supply to Meghalaya state.

Dr Ch Srinivasa Rao, Director, ICAR-CRIDA informed that t below normal rainfall is expected during the kharif season as per IMD and SASCOF forecast and requested to plan for mid-season and terminal season droughts as well as flash flood scenarios.  Considering the topography in the region, he suggested to initiate measures appropriate for upland, midland and low land situations with crop diversification to pulses and oilseeds in mid and uplands and short duration submergence tolerant varieties in low lands.

Dr SV Ngache, Director, ICAR Complex for North East Region, said the intense rainfall and flash floods are becoming major problem in Garo Hills increasing the soil erosion risk and submerging the paddy fields and also hampering the potato cultivation. He explained the efforts made by the ICAR complex and narrated the technologies available for use in different districts of Meghalaya.

Smt D.Syiemiong, Director (Agriculture), Meghalaya in her remarks informed that drought and flood are happening in the same cropping in districts of Meghalaya and informed the steps taken to conserve rainwater on streams through construction of check dams on large scale. She called for change in the guidelines of developmental programs on natural resource conservation which calls for mandatory contribution of 50% by farmers.

Priority for construction of check dams across streams for water conservation with more funds from central schemes
1.     Efforts to be made to conserve the forests which otherwise enhances the risk of land slides, soil erosion with increased intensity of rains
2.     Promotion of soybean and pigeonpea to be taken up on priority during rabi season.
3.     Application of fertilizers in split doses to be promoted among farming community
4.     Low cost jalkunds, treadle pumps are to be promoted in the region
5.     Pulses or short duration paddy varieties are to be promoted during drought situations
6.     Need to develop machines suiting to local conditions enhancing the use by women farmers.
7.     Crop rotation should be the norm for endemic areas
8.     Efforts be made to advance the planting rice to june month so as to get sufficient duration for rabi crops
9.     Policy decision on relaxation of farmers contribution towards water harvesting structures to be taken
10.   Collection center facilities to be created for storage of vegetables which are booming in the state
11.   Awareness campaign to be made for village leaders on group farming, avoiding the stray cattle problem and other related issues.
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)