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By Kito Achumi
KOHIMA, Aug 28 (NEPS): Culminating the PMKSY-WDC, Batch II, the Department of Land Resources organized the State Level Watershed Conference at Capital Convention Centre, Kohima on Monday. Minister, Roads & Bridges, Dr. Neikiesalie Kire and Parliamentary Secretary, Land Resources and Excise, B.S. Nganlang graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and Guest of Honor respectively.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief Minister, T. R. Zeliang who could not attend the programme due to unavoidable official engagement, Dr. Neikiesalie Kire lamented that food production in the State was grossly inadequate and had to depend on the import although, over 70% of the population in the State was engaged in agriculture. He maintained that the reasons for the same were low productivity and their reluctance to use scientific technologies and farm mechanization.
To encourage the farmers to take up cultivation and other income generation activities, he said the PMKSY, the erstwhile Integrated Watershed Management Programme has been introduced in the State. PMKSY, to certain extent, has addressed these issues with the introduction of plantation crops such as rubber, cardamom, tea, coffee.
Parliamentary Secretary, Land Resources and Excise, B.S. Nganlang, speaking at the programme said he had seen very dedicated and committed officials in the department during his short tenure in the department. The availability of land resources, with no excessive state control, he said, could benefit them a lot if they could learn to dedicate their minds and utilize them to the fullest. “Let us make the best use of the available resources and make ourselves self-sufficient,” he added. Congratulating the department for successfully implementing the various schemes and also the success of the programme, he urged the department to continue the good works they have been doing.
Chief Secretary, Pankaj Kumar, IAS, called on the villagers to adopt the practice of crop diversification and develop resilient agriculture in line with the holistic approach of the department, to reduce the risk involved and suit the same to the market demand. Maintaining that water availability was a problem facing most places of the State, he called for development of spring-shed water management projects to solve the problem especially during dry season. He later assured to work out plans for the future career of the officials in the department serving as fixed-pay employees.
The status of IWMP Batch-II in 11 districts of Nagaland totals to 83081.64 Ha. In the status of IWMP, Dimapur ranks 1st, Kohima 2nd and Wokha 3rd. He further said that the department had achieved its name for being the first in the whole country to have established a Geographical Information System cell (GIS), among the Agri & Allied department and had delineated 3541 micro watersheds covering the whole State.