Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Nalbari

KVK Nalbari

About KVKs

The economic reforms commenced in 1991 has successfully put the economy in a higher growth orbit with more than 8 percent growth rate in total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) especially during the recent years. However, the agriculture sector that accounted for more than 30 percent of total GDP at the beginning of reforms failed to maintain its pre-reform growth. On the contrary, it witnessed a sharp deceleration in growth after mid 1990s as the per annum growth in agriculture sector dropped to 1.9 percent during 1996-97 to 2001-2002 from 3.2 percent in the period 1980-81 to 1995-1996. This happened despite the fact that agricultural productivity in most of the states was quite low, as it were, and the potential for the growth of agriculture was high. The 10th five-year plan target of growth of 4 percent per annum in agriculture and allied sectors, set to reverse the sharp deceleration of 1996-1997 to 2001-2002, has not been achieved. The approach paper to the 11th plan also emphasized that reversal of the deceleration in agricultural growth witnessed after 1996 is a pre- requisite for the success of this plan. A sustained and wide spread agricultural growth is a pre-condition of development in India as more than 50 percent of country’s work force still depends upon agriculture for its livelihood. This slow growth in agriculture (including allied sectors) can be of great strain for the economy as agriculture is not only an important driver of macro- economic performance but is also an essential element of the strategy to make growth more inclusive.

 

   Agriculture and its allied sectors are the major contributors to the GDP of the nation. Growth of agriculture sector in Nalbari district along with the state of Assam has been showing a declining trend since the 8th Five Year Plan. The general agricultural scenario of the district leaves a lot to be desired, given the favourable agro climatic and human resource potential of the district. In accordance with the suggestion of the Planning Commission, Assam is to attain 2% annual agricultural growth during the 11th Five Year Plan. The same holds good for the district of Nalbari as well. However, in order that the district can create and sustain a momentum of agricultural growth on an accelerated trajectory, a long term perspective for the next fifteen years would be necessary to streamline and synergize efforts on a pragmatic roadmap. The strengths of the district lies in its conducive soil & climatic conditions, good communication network, high literacy rates and accessibility to markets. However, the district also suffers from inherent weaknesses such as fragmentation of land holdings, poor irrigation facilities, poor socio-economic conditions of farmers, non-availability of quality inputs etc. On the other hand, considering the high demand and short supply of horticultural and animal products in the district, agribusiness offers lucrative prospects to farmers and agripreneurs. Further, existing markets, both internal and external, are yet to be tapped. The SWOT analysis reveals the need and potential of implementing different extension activities and need based projects to achieve the vision for the district. The vision evolved for the district is to put Nalbari district on an accelerated path of sustainable agricultural development. There exist significant gaps between actual and attainable yields. Low availability of quality seeds/planting materials stocks, organic manures, bio pesticides, absence of assured markets, transportation bottlenecks from the field to markets, non-standardization and non adoption of improved production practices are major constraints leading to yield gaps. Inadequate transfer of scientific knows how of production, poor economic conditions, low risk bearing ability and slackness toward agriculture assuming it as a non-commercial profession on part of farmers also contribute for lower productivity.

 

   The concept of integrated local area plans to raise living standard in rural area and over come food shortage based on specific endowments and needs of each area was initially mooted in 1st Five year plan in 1951. It could not be materialized in true sense as only sporadic efforts and isolated cases of such planning were practically attempted. For success of local area or District level plans the implementation has to be on a long term visionary mode, taking into account the problems and potentials within the defined limits. The required infrastructural investment, extension and research system revamping and market reach with the system’s conduct and performance have to be synchronized through a holistic policy approach. Agriculture in the district can’t possibly achieve same growth as in the past without recognizing the role of farmer’s participatory approach for formulating strategies and finding solutions to new and emerging problems. As such the need of the hour is to extrapolate into the future on the basis of the present and chalk out a roadmap for the future that is capable of addressing needs and problems on a priority basis and in a phased manner.