GUWAHATI, Dec 21 - Drawing a close relation between increased agricultural production and GDP growth, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has stressed the need for better coordination among the soil conservation, agriculture and irrigation departments in the State.
Reviewing the functioning of the soil conservation department at the Assam Secretariat today, the Chief Minister also asked the department to prepare a concept note highlighting the common interest and areas of activity of the three departments and submit the same to the government for holistic agricultural growth in Assam.
Sonowal also expressed deep concern over depletion of the ground water level in the State and directed the soil conservation department to popularise rainwater harvesting and take steps for retaining the water level of integrated watershed projects for judicious utilisation during winter.
Sonowal further suggested tapping of the potential of water bodies to develop farming in adjoining villages of the source and take it up as a pilot project in the State. “Soil is the fundamental basis of human survival. The soil conservation department should prepare a roadmap to fulfil its mandate and generate public interest and opinion in favour of the conservation initiatives,” he said.
Sonowal also highlighted the soil conservation department’s role in effective implementation of the Chief Minister’s Samagra Gram Unnayan Yojana and vouched for modernising the department and upgrading the skill of its staff. He also advised the officials of the department to convene one seminar in each district on soil conservation techniques involving the farmers, youths, NGOs etc.
The Chief Minister further said that agricultural land in many parts of the State remains unutilised due to its uneven topography. “The soil conservation department should guide the farmers in scientific utilisation of soil and take measures for levelling of agricultural fields for turning the same into cultivable land,” he said. Sonowal also asked the department to procure laser land levellers for improving agricultural growth.
Sonowal also underlined the importance of micro watershed committees in mobilising the public for soil and water conservation and directed the department to convene meetings of all 1,700 such committees to promote sharing of best conservation techniques amongst farmers.