JORHAT: “I had a number of meetings with the Chief Minister, tea planters, villagers and other people and tried to see the scope for cooperation with Norway. In Assam, 65 per cent to 67 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture. This means that agriculture is the key to poverty alleviation and economy development of the State. So the improvement in the agricultural sector is vital,” said Nils Ragnar Kamsvag, the Ambassador of Norway, during the launch of the resilience project jointly by Assam Agricultural University (AAU) and Norwegian Institute of Bio-Economy Research (NIBIO) at the AAU campus in Jorhat on Wednesday.
Kamsvag said, “Climatic change is already happening faster than expected. Hence urgent action and more ambition are needed to fight climatic change. Norway is increasingly focused on climate-smart agriculture technology for food security and cross-cutting issues. Before the end of this year, the government will prepare an action plan in this area for combating climatic change which is the key priority for our government, as it is for the Indian Government also.”
He added, “Similarly, we strongly believe in sustainable production, climate adaptation, and prevention of natural disaster for achieving sustainable development. We also believe that India and the State of Assam are central to this agenda. No goal can be achieved without the genuine participation of women and a strong focus on women’s role in agriculture. To achieve this ambitious goal, we require new knowledge and mentors. It also requires collaboration across discipline institutions, countries and people. For climate adaptation, for instance, we require relatively new policy, technology and research area. This is also by nature and inter-disciplinary area for which we want to research, policy development and implementation to go hand-in-hand. Launching this project will enhance Assam and Odisha in food security as well as combat climatic change. It will bring a number of research institutions.”
“We collaborated with the National Initiative on Climatic Resilience and Agriculture (NICRA) and our NICRA project in the mid-Brahmaputra zone is going on for the past six to seven years. Farmers are happy to find an alternative project like resilience which will improve livelihood, food, nutrition and security for smallholders,” said Dr. Kamal Malla Bujarbaruah, the Vice-Chancellor of AAU, during his address in the open session.
Uday Sekhar Nagathu, Director of the Centre for International Development (NIBIO), Norway, during his speech, said that the overall goal of the project was to improve agricultural productivity, adaptive capacity and livelihood of smallholders by building resilience and strengthening the agri-product market value change. The project will be implemented in the two States of Odisha and Assam. Measures will be spread out in four districts where selected climate-smart agriculture technologies will be demonstrated.
Earlier, State Agriculture Minister Atul Bora thanked AAU Vice-Chancellor Dr. KM Bujarbaruah for joining hands with Norway for the project which will be funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway and Royal Norwegian Embassy, New Delhi.