“Assam economy is primarily an agrarian economy with 80 percent of its population engaged in agriculture and allied activities.The main source of livelihood of the rural areas is agriculture, espicially rain fed paddy cultivation. Traditional agriculture had always been a way of life and subsistent -oriented.But with the passage of time and advancement of farming system,there is a strong need to shift out the traditional production oriented approach to market oriented approach to meet the demand and increase the farmers income level. Majority of the farmers are small and marginal category and lack knowledge on land, water and crop management practices. The farmers have fewer options for vertical expansion of agriculture and increasing in cropping intensity due to less exposed on such practice and scientific input management”. Thus said Dr. Dipankar Saharia at Tangla on May 1. He was speaking as the guest of the month at Tangla Press Club.
Dr. Saharia further said that farmers of Assam get food for only four to six months for their sustenance and rest of the period they depend on daily wage earning. He said that poor infrastructure facilities such as poor connectivity,inadequate irrigation and low agricultural productivity had been biggest hurdles on the way of economic self sufficiency. According to him 40 percent of the state's rural population lives below poverty line,the alternative lies in developing the rural economy by creating opportunities for self employment in both primary and secondary sectors. He suggested that market based production like ginger,peeper and yellow ginger etc in powder form; Muga cultivation and production etc could fetch more money than the selling of raw ginger peeper etc. Integrated water resource management, promotion of farm ponds construction of location specific water harvesting structures,micro irrigation system and monitoring of the rural development projects in villages should be a continuous process etc were other several such important suggestions. The proceeding was anchored by Bapan Sarma,President,Tangla Press Club.