Water, Agriculture and Livelihoods: Perspectives from Meghalaya

Date:   Thu Aug 13, 2020 - Thu Aug 13, 2020 , Contact:   events@asianconfluence.org , Hosts:   Asian Confluence

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Context: 

In July 2019, Meghalaya became the first state to have a well-developed water policy to address water issues, conservation, and protection of water sources in the State. In order to develop this policy, essential inputs were taken from experts in water conservation which sets up a strong precedent to bring together government policy with academic and scientific discourse to achieve sustainable water management and conservation. The Government of Meghalaya has been at the forefront to mobilize local communities to improve water management issues by bringing in technological innovations, groundwater mapping, rainwater harvesting and multipurpose run-of-the-river reservoirs. The water policy also calls for developing small water storage-structures for better rainwater harvesting and recharging the depleting groundwater. Also as a first in the region, the Meghalaya State Agriculture Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 was passed by the cabinet in May 2020 during the assembly budget session. The Act also brought livestock, fisheries and medicinal plants under its purview. The Government of Meghalaya has also identified 22 focus sectors and sub-sectors that relate to agriculture and allied activities as part of the post coronavirus economic revival strategy. With the rising concerns of water conservation and food security, it is essential to adopt an approach that encourages water-smart agriculture and climate friendly cropping patterns to yield the best results.

The webinar will attempt to bring together different perspectives to collaborate and contribute in creating a richer discourse on the learnings from the Meghalaya model and possibilities of strengthening the water resource management of Meghalaya for better livelihood and food security. It will also attempt to start a conversation on how to revive the agricultural sector amidst a pandemic as a large section of the population is dependent on agriculture. In this context, water becomes the central element in the revival of the economy and agriculture of Meghalaya.

Welcome and Introduction

Mr. Sabyasachi Dutta, Founder – Director, Asian Confluence

Moderator

Dr. Partha Jyoti Das, Head, Aaranyak & Honorary Senior Fellow, Asian Confluence

Panelist

• Dr. Lam Shabong, OSD and Director, Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA)

• Mr. H.H. Mohrmen, President, SURE NGO, Environmentalist, Jowai, Meghalaya

• Ms. Lily Kharkrang, Joint Director of Agriculture (A & A), Directorate of Agriculture, Government of Meghalaya

ABOUT NADI CONVERSATIONS

‘NADI Conversations’ are a web-based, multilateral, multi-stakeholder conversation series, started by Asian Confluence under one of its flagship initiatives: NADI, to celebrate rivers as the pulse and life force of our ecology and civilization. Rivers shape our perceptions of boundaries and influence varied aspects of our existence, including those related to agriculture, livelihood, health, culture, tourism, sustainability, trade and connectivity. The initiative primarily focuses on the specified geography of the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) Basin and the platform will further ideate in dealing with specific cases of cross-learning and sharing from the Mekong sub-region, taking instances of Irrawaddy, Mekong and Chao Phraya.



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