Rukmini Barua Deka
In Assam, of the total land mass, 98.4 percent is considered rural, where agriculture and allied activities is the main occupation of the people. The per capita land holding of the people of Assam is 1.10 ha, where the total number of farm families is 27.21 lakh. But majority of the farmers are small and marginal and their per capita land holding is only 0.61 ha in hills and plains. Extensive areas are occupied under Rice cultivation that is 24.95 lakh ha out od 28.3 lakh ha net cropped area. In Assam, there is surplus Rice production and this trend of production should continue for the benefit of farmers. The state is deficit in production of pulses, oilseeds but there has been an increasing trend in maize production. Though fruits and vegetables are produced in abundance, the level of intervention and infrastructure from production to post harvest is very low compared to other leading states. Due to lack of proper infrastructure huge quantities get decomposed and wasted.
“The youth of the state should firmly dedicate and contribute towards increasing agricultural productivity. Being in an agrarian society our culture is closely linked to agriculture. Our strength lies in enhancing this sector and taking this state to the global platform. In this regard the role of youth is indispensable”, said Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister, Assam, inaugurating the 4-day 5th Assam International Agri-Horti Show (AIAHS) , 2018 in Chowkidingee Ground, Dibrugarh, Assam on 5th January.
Ehis was organized by the Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, Government of Assam in association with Assam Agricultural Univeraity, Indian Chamber of Commerce and NABARD. This show is the exposition in Assam for innovation and inspiration in agriculture, Horticulture, Food processing, Floriculture and allied sectors. It is one of the major annual B2B-cum B2C events in Assam that would bring together the best and the latest to this sector. This show has not only proved to be a great marketing activity for the participating companies but has also helped them achieve huge sales figures. Over the years this Show has witnessed participation of most of the leading brands available in the country. This year the international participants included Thailand, Canada, Italy, Sweden, Nepal, Bolivia, Sudan, Uganda, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
“The department of Agriculture, Assam is implementing several flagship projects and programmes in the context of improvement of agricultural production in the state to meet the growing demand for food of the growing population. Some of the flagship projects are AACP, RKVY,NFSM (Rice), NPSM (Pulse), A3P, HMNEH, (MM-II), (MM-III). The Chief Minister’s Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) has been taken up to double the farm income. There will be a tractor per village in 26,000 villages of the state. Though climate change has posed a serious challenge, protecting and promoting bio-diversity, ecology and organic farming can help to overcome the challenges, said Sonowal.
For the first time this Show was organized outside the State capital to widen its horizons. There were 70 stalls in the International Pavilion and 150 stalls in the general exhibition section where 34 government departments participated.
‘There are enormous potentialities in the agriculture sector and this Show is an eye opener for the farmers. For the benefit of farmers the government has introduced crop insurance scheme, identity card for farmers, procurement of Rice and other commodities through minimum support price, organic farming initiatives and more. The government would soon provide farmers 1 lakh shallow tube wells and 10 thousand solar pumps for improving irrigation facilities’,said Atul Bora, Minister, Agriculture, Assam.
Theme based pavilions and stalls were set up for floriculture, apiculture, citrus fruits and medicinal plants, display of agricultural farm equipment, floral parade, farmers’ training, nurseries, food processing units and more. Several buyer-seller meets were held between government and private sellers and national and international buyers. A special greenhouse with modern technology was constructed at the venue.
This Show is a yearly event aiming at helping the farmers learns new and improved methods of cultivation to enhance productivity and income. Attending it, farmers get opportunities to learn from the best and the latest in agriculture, food processing, horticulture and allied sectors. It is a platform for businessmen and local entrepreneurs to meet leading brands of the country and abroad.