Odisha Govt signs MoU with FES for ecologically sound agricultural practices

Bhubaneswar: Department of Agriculture and Farmer’s Empowerment, Government of Odisha signed an MoU with Foundation for Ecological Security (FES)to provide technical training on assessing land capability and crop water budgeting in all district of the state. The MoU was signed in presence of Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on 29th June, 2018.
Hon’ble Minster of Revenue and Disaster Management, Shri Maheswar Mohanty, Hon’ble Minster of Agriculture Shri Pradeep Maharathy, Chief Secretary Shri Aditya Padhi, Principal Secretary Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment , Dr Saurabh Garg, Agriculture Production Commissioner, Shri Gagan Kumar Dhal, Managing Director, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority, Shri Bishnupada Shetti, Director Agriculture and Food Production, Dr M. Mutthu Kumar, Executive Director , FES Shri Jagdeesh Rao and other senior officials & dignitaries were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the event Hon’ble Chief Minister empathised on the need for enhancing early warning system for effective management of disasters in the state. He further stressed on the need for restoring the common land and water bodies through village institutions and federations in all the districts of the state through promotion of ecologically sound agricultural practices and water management.
FES has developed a GIS (Geographic Information System) based tool CLART to assist village level functionaries to appropriately identify, plan and design structures based on recharge potentiality, land use land cover and slope. CLART aims at addressing the current scenario where absence of any technical expertise, the plans are made based on intuitive knowledge and needs, which in many cases does not give the desired result. There are levels of complexity to understanding the nature of recharge potentiality of a specific area where rock type, slope and landuse/landcover varies. The treatment plan for the area therefore needs to be made after assessing the different physical properties of the land. To aid in this process, a composite approach has been identified with the help of spatial data of different resolutions but at a uniform scale under the GIS umbrella. A layer has been generated in GIS for different colour coded recommendation based on different recharge potentiality; slope and land use/ land cover combination simultaneously. Mainly four types of area have been identified which are high recharge area, moderate recharge area, low recharge area and area suitable for regeneration.
FES will act as a facilitator for promoting ecologically sound agriculture practices by providing the CLART software, training to the Village Agriculture Workers (VAW) and farmers for using the tool.
Crop Water Budgeting is another tool developed by FES to assist communities for proper management of water resources. It is a farmer centric tool that assists the support system needed for village communities to balance demand with supplies, so that water consumption does not exceed the limits of recharge through rainfall, stream flows and surface water storage.

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