Massive sand-deposits and barren croplands in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji

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Guwahati, January 10: Huge range of croplands in the districts of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji have turned barren as a result of the massive accumulation of sand from the flood waters of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries, including the areas of Subansiri, Dikrong, Singora, Simon, Ghagor, Jiadhol, Moridhol and so on.

Reportedly, a study conducted on the sand and silt deposited areas of the two districts by the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), North Lakhimpur, under Agricultural University (AAU) has proposed sustainable crop management for improving the agro-ecosystems affected by sandy soils. The study further observed that unless a systematic watershed management is initiated to prevent erosion on the Arunachal hills, there would be no permanent solution to the sand-deposited areas of Assam.

It may be noted that different cropping strategies need to be adopted for areas having different depositions, as suggested by the research team. The strategies would also vary in accordance with the type of deposition and the level of soil fertility, states Dr Prabal Saikia, Chief Scientist, RARS.

This study conducted by a group of researchers including  Dr Bikram Borkotoki, Junior Scientist, RARS, DR Subal Maibangsa, Head, KVK, Karbi Anglang, AAU and Dr Niloy Bora, Professor, College of Horticulture, AAU, apart from Dr Prabal Saikia, suggested scrapping of the top layer when the sand deposition is too high while using it for highway construction and other non-agricultural purposes, and crops such as dwarf bananas and watermelon could be grown in deep pits after adequate application of organic matters.