The Regional Centre, Jorhat started working at the campus of the Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat in the year 1979. The Centre created its own facility and shifted to its present location in Jamuguri Road, Rowriah, Jorhat in the year 1998. The Centre’s jurisdiction is the North Eastern Region (NER) of the country comprising of eight states namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The Regional Centre, Jorhat is mandated to generate resource information on land and soil and also develop land use plan for the entire NER using remote sensing and GIS techniques. The activities of Regional Centre are grouped into three categories viz. research, human resource development and capacity building of farmers through farmers-scientist interaction.
The biodiversity of the region is highly varied and is a unique area for ecological research. The region is under humid to perhumid sub-tropical to sub-temperate condition with very high rainfall. The region is characterized by sedimentary rocks mainly of the Himalayan origin except in Meghalaya and Assam where granite gneissic type of geology is predominant. The physiography and landform are highly variable and with a concommittant variation in soil types. Owing to very high rainfall the soils of the region are highly weathered belonging to Ultisols, Alfisols, Inceptisols, Entisols with generally low base saturation and cation exchange capacity. Few Mollisols are also found in the sub-temperate regions. The soils are characterized by high organic carbon and high acidity, aluminium toxicity, depleted status of nutrients and highly eroded soils. The high degree of erosion in the hill region results in degradation on one hand, and loss of nutrients, siltation of water bodies and flooding in the plains on the other. Soil survey and mapping of soil and land resources are important pre-requisite for developing appropriate agricultural land use plan based on the potentials and constraints of natural resources of the region. In order to accomplish the natural resources management database requirement of the entire North Eastern Region of India, the Regional Centre, Jorhat is fully committed to the activities pertaining to the generation of information on soil and land resources. The Centre also involved in the preservation of benchmark and typifying soil resources of the NER. Apart from soil and land use characterization, the Centre is also involved in mapping water bodies, testing quality of water and soil pollution, and its effect on the environment and soil carbon stock assessment. The Centre is also engaged in propagating the latest soil resource-based agro-technology in terms of providing training in the field of advanced soil survey and mapping methodologies, remote sensing and GIS and land evaluation and agricultural land use planning, specific extension activities (as laid down by the Council from time to time) and teaching. The Centre is also undertakes consultancy work and contract projects. The Centre also helps students, academic researchers and line departments with the invaluable soil and other data for furthering their various programmes.