Meghalaya Governor Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary has raised a doubt if the calcium deficiency in the soil of North-East is any reason why the size of livestock and human beings in the region is small.
Calling for a research on the issue, Mr. Mooshahary has said here that he apprehends calcium deficiency in the livestock, which feed on grass, and the human beings who eat the food produced on the soil of the region. The soil has become highly acidic and calcium deficient due to heavy rainfall in the region which drains down rainwater fast to the low-lying areas, leaching the soil nutrients.
The Governor was delivering the convocation address to the third batch of students of post-graduate diploma in rural management at the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) here on Friday. He noted that the region had highly diverse climatic conditions stretching from plain to alpine with low lying lands and steep slopes.
Mr. Mooshahary, who laced his speech with illustrations about isolation of North-East, said the region was more rural than many parts of the country with over 85 per cent of the people living in villages. It was an irony that all the money spent for the development of the region had made little impact and the region continued to be substantially deficient in physical and social infrastructure.
The North-East had only 0.8 per cent share in the bank credit at the national level. Its population growth was 17.64 per cent, but the foodgrain production was less than 7 per cent.
However, the region had its own share of cultural richness which was reflected in people cooking food from rice in 2,000 different ways.
Director-General of NIRD Mathew C. Kunnumkal said the institute had professionalised rural development delivery systems with the introduction of the PG diploma course.