The Soil & Water Conservation Department, Meghalaya originated as the Jhum Control Wing under the Forest Department in the erstwhile composite State of Assam. It was subsequently created as an independent Department during 1959-60.
As a major Department of the State, the Department has been striving towards the conservation of the three most vital natural resources - soil, water and vegetation by implementing various conservation measures under various schemes and projects funded by different agencies.
Accordingly the Department has taken up the following as its main functions:
- Conservation of natural resources like soil, water and vegetation for sustained development and continuing economic progress and improved way of life of the people
- To combat land degradation through erosion, faulty agricultural practices like shifting cultivation or Jhumming to preserve, maintain and improve balance in ecology and environment
- Optimum utilization and conservation of soil, water and vegetation in the catchment areas by making judicious use of land according to its capabilities.
With this in perspective, the Department has taken up the challenge of mitigating the depletion of the natural resources through various programmes with the objective of conserving these vital resources for sustainable food production and simultaneously to ensure food security through sustainable high levels of production by adopting improved resource conservation technologies.