Performance of Assamin agriculture sector over the last 30 years (400 words)Assam is blessed with vast stretch offertile land along with plenty of water resources and rainfalls thus making itsuitable for agriculture sector. Being an agrarian economy, the state economylargely depends on agriculture as it employs 63 % of Assam’s population. Theagro-climatic conditions help in cultivation of a wide range of crops fromplantation crops to various fruits, vegetables and other commercial plants. Assamproduces large variety of crops like rice, pulse, sugarcane, mangoes, banana,pineapple, guava, potato, sweet potato, jute, mustard, tea, rapeseed, areca nutand turmeric. The total production and productivity of agricultural productshave increased over the years.
Exhibit1 However, tea plantation is the most profit-making segment and offersemployment to large section of workforce in Assam. Assam is well known worldwidefor its production of tea and accounts for 15% (one-seventh) of the total worldproduction. Assam produces some of the finest tea along with its own varietynamed Camellia Assamica. It has its own tea auction centre and possess large centreof CTC tea.
Large dependence on tea plantation can be seen from the fact that350 thousand hectares of land in Assam cultivated tea in 2014-15 with more than765 tea gardens and Assam produces 629 million Kgs of tea out of India’s totalproduction of 1200 million Kgs. 1 A larger push from the government in form of schemes andpolicies have resulted in an increase in production of tea over the lastdecade. Exhibit 2 Agriculture isthe primary sector of the state’s economy and greatly influence thesocio-economic condition of the state. It contributes to 22.18 % of the stateeconomy. Between 2004-05 &2015-16, the agriculture sector has grown at a CAGR of 11.62% Exhibit 3 The net area sown in agriculturehas increased significantly over the last few decades and currently, it accountsto 54.11% of total geographical activity.
It has witnessed a lot of changes interms of development of agro-technology and diversification into otherhorticulture segment. Despite such huge growth and technological advancement inagriculture, this hasn’t translated into better economic condition of thepeople who still lags behind the annual per capita income of India by a hugemargin and is still considered a poor state. The economy represents a uniquejuxtaposition of backwardness amidst development. 12th FiveYear Plan has seen the state turning its focus towards sustainable development inagriculture. 400 words2. Possible causes forsuccess/failure of Assam in Agriculture sector (500words)The success ofAssam in Agriculture sector can be largely attributed to the effort put in byGovernment and other institution like World Bank. Various scheme related tosoil & water conservation were implemented to improve the productivity ofthe land. The agriculture department in Assam undertook various development projectsto ensure growth in crop production.
During 2001-02 & 2015-16, 18 thousandhectares of land was developed for cultivation. Financial support wasprovided to promote agriculture and horticulture. In October, 2017 World Bankand India signed a loan agreement of US $ 0.2 billion to invest in agriculturesector. Geographical Indication (GI) for tea produced in Assam, Special PurposeTea Fund (SPTF) to support small scale tea grower, establishment of R&D andResearch Institute (Tea Research Association) for improving the processing andcultivation of tea industry were some of the initiatives taken by thegovernment for improving tea plantation. Apart from this,the government provided grant under Family Oriented Income Generating Schemeto 200,000 beneficiaries. In 2017-18, US $ 31.4 million was also invested indevelopment for the agriculture sector under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
Italso invested in developing an area of 652.1 thousand hectares underhorticulture crops. Assam’s tea plantation provided huge investmentopportunities for companies like Goodricke Group.
Assam has adhered to organicway of farming from the start (with the help of government) and this has made Assama suitable place to attract firm like Patanjali Ayurved that opened a food parkin Balipara. Fertilizers and pesticides consumption is the lowest incomparison to other state of the country and other protective measures aretaken by the agricultural institute to protect the plantation. All the policiesand scheme taken have contributed to an increase in agriculture production and productivityto a great extent. Even banks made sure that agriculture sector can avail loanat an easy rate so that availability of fund doesn’t hinder its growth.Despite such progress, these development has not translatedinto better living standards of the people.
Agriculture was developing but wasnot fruitful to the beneficiary. Agricultural sector was plagued with fewmanmade and few artificial problems. The infrastructural weakness coupled withno food processing unit/ factory was one of the main problem. Most of theproducts were perishable in nature and absence of processing facility and noconnectivity to marketplace lead to huge agricultural wastage.
Hence, farmers can’tbenefit from this development endeavors as they cannot reach the selling pointin time. Absence of food processing unit is detrimental as there are no storagefacility or proper means to preserve the yield from decaying. Theinfrastructure issue seems to have a spillover effect on other sectors as welllike attracting investment in the state.
Marketing of agricultural productsalso poses a problem as state infrastructure is unable to support thisfunctionality. Apart from lack of infrastructure, natural calamity alsoposed problem to the farmers. Lots of rain, flood and soil erosion hampered thecultivation from time to time. 498 words