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.
Housing is the physical structure providing shelter, consuming land and providecertain basic services. It has a specific location and once made it is durable (Gandotra, 2006). Keeping it in view the present study on ‘Housing condition of tribal and non-tribal households in Jorhat district- A comparative study’ was carried out in Jorhat district of Assam with the following objectives- To study the housing environment of tribal and non-tribal households. To study the selected factors affecting tribal and non-tribal housing conditions. To study the awareness level of house wives towards the quality housing conditions. In the present study comparison of housing condition of Tribal and non-Tribal housing conditions was done where the tribal respondents belonged to the Mishing community which is a major Assamese tribe. The study was conducted by purposive and simple random sampling method. Two agricultural development officer (ADO) circles located in two development blocks of Jorhat district namely Titabar development block and Kaliapani block were purposively considered for the study having basically agrarian population of both tribal (Mishing) and non-tribal. One tribal and one non-tribal village from each block were selected purposively so that comparison can be done properly having the villages situated in the same locality (block). Accordingly 20 tribal households and 20 non- tribal households from each village were selected by following simple random sampling method and accordingly a total 80 households were selected as sample. It was revealed that the tribal and non-tribal households of similar family income differ in their housing structure. Tribal households had stilted house with raised platform of 5-7feet above ground level, they had less humidity level in their houses and showed no evidence of dampness. They had no drainage facilities for draining out the waste water. They washed utensils on the raised floor (Chang) and let the water fall underneath. Half of the tribal households use to keep their live stocks under the platform where they lived.They mostly incinerate their household waste. Tribal respondents had low cost sanitary latrine provided by government schemes and by the
NGOs as compared to the non-tribal respondents which was 55% and were mostly self-constructed. It was encouraging to note that, none of the non- tribal respondents had dug hole latrines and also they did not defecate in open spaces. Open defecation of 12.5% was found among tribal respondents. The study also revealed that majority of the tribal households had bamboo netting as smoke outlet in their house for removal of smoke from the kitchen. Regarding illumination at day and night inside the house, it was found that recommended intensity of daylight and night light was unavailable in many of the rooms in tribal households and thus rooms were inadequately bright. On the other hand, houses of non-tribal respondents were not raised on stilts but on plinth with a height varying from 2-3 feet from the ground level. Humidity level inside many of the rooms was higher than the recommended level and a sign of dampness was observed. They had improper drainage facilities and mostly they kept their live stocks near the house. Majority of them dump their household waste. Recommended intensity of daylight was unavailable in some rooms but majority of them had adequate lighting in recommended level in almost all the rooms at night. They had proper arrangement, grouping and provision of flexibility in the room as compared to the tribal households. Regarding quality of potable water it was not found to be within the recommended level. Experiments revealed that the average bacterial count in the raw form of tube well water used by the tribal (126 CFU/ml) and non-tribal households (124.33 CFU/ml) was almost similar and was higher than the filtered and boiled forms of water used by both the groups. Overall awareness regarding quality of housing condition meeting the criteria of principles of residential planning was less among tribal respondents (22.5%) as compared to the non-tribal respondents (39.43%).