To conserve soil and surface water of the State of Mizoram along with restoration of ecological balance and adoption of income generating programmes among rural people.
• Conservation of Soil:
Soil loses its fertility due to erosion. So we need to conserve the soil. Soil conservation means checking soil erosion and improving soil fertility by adopting various methods. Some of the methods we have been practicing and planned to extend further include:
- Maintenance of soil fertility: The fertility can be maintained by adding manure and fertilizers regularly as well as by rotation of crop.
- Control on grazing: Grazing should be allowed only on the areas meant for it and not on agricultural land.
- Reforestation: Planting of trees and vegetation reduces soil erosion by both water and wind. Eg. Creation of Rubber, coffee and broom plantation that would not only prevent erosion but also provide income to the cultivators.
- Terracing: Dividing a slope into several flat fields to control rapid run-off water. It is practiced mostly in hilly areas.
- Contour ploughing: Ploughing at right angles to the slope allows the furrows to trap water and check soil erosion by rain water.
- Contour Trenching: This is all about excavation of trenches of 10 feet long, 1 foot wide and I foot deep on the ground in order to retard the flow of water and entrap the eroded soil particles. Usually applied for moisture conservation in the reclamation of barren/wasteland.
• Conservation of Water:
Water Conservation and management of water are essential for the survival of mankind, plants and animals. This can be achieved by adopting the following methods:
- Growing vegetation in the catchment areas, which will hold water in the soil and allow it to percolate into deeper layers and contribute to formation of ground water.
- Constructing dams (including check-dams) and reservoirs to regulate supply of water to the fields, as well as to enable generating hydroelectricity.
- Sewage should be treated and only the clear water should be released into the rivers.
- Industrial wastes (effluents) should be treated to prevent chemical and thermal pollution of fresh water.
- Judicious use of water in our day-to-day life.
- Rainwater harvesting should be done by storing rainwater and recharging groundwater.
- Conservation/Development of spring-shed’s catchment areas in order to obtain continuous supply of spring water throughout the year.
•Conservation of Forests/afforestation:
Forest is an important part of the environment, because trees clean the air and keep the atmosphere cool. We cannot live without plants, because the oxygen need for breathing is produced by plants. Trees absorb sunlight and reduce the heat. Plants provide fodder for animals, firewood, timber, medicines, honey, wax, gum, lac and food for us. Tree roots penetrate deep into the soil and form cavities in the ground. The dry leaves which fall on ground cover the soil and absorb more rain water, which slowly percolates through the soil. Thus, a large portion of the rain water can be retained in the field, by planting more trees. Flooding or rivers can be prevented by protecting the forest or afforestation. Knowing the importance of trees, we are planning to create income-generating plantations like Rubber, Broom, Coffee and Arecanut.
The conservation, Protection and Management of the Natural Resources in the State viz. Soil, Water and Vegetation for livelihood security.
Competing demands in Agriculture, Industry and other domestic sectors have resulted in intensive and unscientific exploitation of soil, water and vegetation thereby causing widespread eco-system and land degradation.
In this context, the Land Resources, Soil & Water Conservation Department, Government of Mizoram has been entrusted with the task of formulation and implementation of schemes and projects not only to conserve soil, water and vegetation but also to promote their efficient use and environmental awareness so as to ensure sustainable development.