Assam Agricultural University is the first institution of its kind in the whole of North-Eastern Region of India. The main goal of this institution is to produce globally competitive human resources in farm sectorand to carry out research in both conventional and frontier areas for production optimization as well as to disseminate the generated technologies as public good for benefitting the food growers/produces and traders involved in the sector while emphasizing on sustainability, equity and overall food security at household level.
Genesis of AAU -
The embryo of the agricultural research in the state of Assam was formed as early as 1897 with the establishment of the Upper Shillong Experimental Farm (now in Meghalaya) just after about a decade of creation of the agricultural department in 1882. However, the seeds of agricultural research in today’s Assam were sown in the dawn of the twentieth century with the establishment of two Rice Experimental Stations, one at Karimganj in Barak valley in 1913 and the other at Titabor in Brahmaputra valley in 1923. Subsequent to these research stations, a number of research stations were established to conduct research on important crops, more specifically, jute, pulses, oilseeds etc. The Assam Agricultural University was established on April 1, 1969 under The Assam Agricultural University Act, 1968’ with the mandate of imparting farm education, conduct research in agriculture and allied sciences and to effectively disseminate technologies so generated. Before establishment of the University, there were altogether 17 research schemes/projects in the state under the Department of Agriculture. By July 1973, all the research projects and 10 experimental farms were transferred by the Government of Assam to the AAU which already inherited the College of Agriculture and its farm at Barbheta, Jorhat and College of Veterinary Sciences at Khanapara, Guwahati.
Subsequently, College of Community Science at Jorhat (1969), College of Fisheries at Raha (1988), Biswanath College of Agriculture at Biswanath Chariali (1988) and Lakhimpur College of Veterinary Science at Joyhing, North Lakhimpur (1988) were established. Presently, the University has three more colleges under its jurisdiction, viz., Sarat Chandra Singha College of Agriculture, Chapar, College of Horticulture, Nalbari & College of Sericulture, Titabar. Similarly, few more regional research stations at Shillongani, Diphu, Gossaigaon, Lakhimpur; and commodity research stations at Kahikuchi, Buralikson, Tinsukia, Kharua, Burnihat and Mandira were added to generate location and crop specific agricultural production packages.
Handloom weaving provide the largest livelihood generation among the
women weavers in Northeast India, specifically Assam. Women weavers
constitute nearly 91.8% of the total workforce in handloom weaving in Assam.
The present study was carried out to find out the occupational risk factors and
work related musculoskeletal disorders prevailing among the comme rcial weavers
with these objectives 1. To study the prevalent occupational risks in different
types of handloom weaving in Assam; 2. To identify various work related
musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) and occupational health hazards among the
weavers; 3. To understand the scope for effective intervention for occupational
wellbeing of handloom weavers. A total of 18 0 women workers were selected for
the study by following multistage purposive sampling procedure through a list of
registered handloom weaving units of Lakhimpur District under Primary Weavers
Cooperative Society ( PWCS) and Self Help Groups (SHGs) The comm ercial
weavers face many challenges on the work front regarding health related issues as
far as their workplace with three different types of looms are concerned i.e.,
throw shuttle loom using dobby, frame loom using dobby and frame loom using
jacquard. Wh ile performing the weaving activities the workers are found to
assume variety of unnatural postures, repetition of task with force exerted for
picking, battening and shedding operations, reaching for the dobby/jacquard and
yarn breakage due to task demand and workplace arrangements. Various health
related risks and hazards that exists in different types of looms/workplaces are
identified with the ergonomics tools assessment such as QEC, RULA, ACGIH
HAL TLV, SI, grip strength and pinch strength. It was found that as the age of the
respondents, years of involvement, perceived joint discomfort and occupational
stress increases the WMSDs also increases. Frame loom using jacquard is the
mostly used loom with 46.15 percent involvement of weavers and risk factors
w ere also found high. To mitigate the risk factors and health issues, the present
study proposed a workplace design intervention for an improved loom for better
workplace conditions and occupational wellbeing of commercial handloom
weaver. Providing an ergo nomically designed workplace is important to the
commercial handloom weavers as far as their occupational wellbeing is
concerned. This is because motivated, healthy and job content workers at
workplace drives the performance, quality and competitiveness of
workplace drives the performance, quality and competitiveness of an organization. an organization. Therefore, a predictive equation through regression modelTherefore, a predictive equation through regression model for an improve loom for an improve loom was providedwas provided for a comfortable seat height and holder dimensions. With the help for a comfortable seat height and holder dimensions. With the help of these equation, the seat height and the holder diameter for each weaver can bof these equation, the seat height and the holder diameter for each weaver can be e predicted according to their popliteal height and grip diameter inside thus predicted according to their popliteal height and grip diameter inside thus providing ease and comfort to the weaver with improvement in the health providing ease and comfort to the weaver with improvement in the health condition.condition. Evaluation for effectiveness of the improved loom was done with the Evaluation for effectiveness of the improved loom was done with the help of spinal range of mothelp of spinal range of motion, grip strength, pinch strength, EMG analysis, body ion, grip strength, pinch strength, EMG analysis, body pain and ease of comfort. Significant reduction was observed in these parameters pain and ease of comfort. Significant reduction was observed in these parameters used for the improved loom.used for the improved loom. The improved loom was found to be inThe improved loom was found to be in line to meet line to meet the objectives of the target beneficiariesthe objectives of the target beneficiaries..