With eyes fixed on achieving an eight per cent growth, the state government has planned to double the production of rice in the next five years.
In 2010-11, the state's rice production was 50 lakh metric tons against 44.08 lakh metric tons in 2009-10. Buoyed by the rise in paddy production, agriculture minister Nilomoni Sen Deka said the government would aim to increase rice production up to 100 lakh metric tons in the next five years. "Our growth target is eight per cent. So, to contribute to that growth we have to double the production of rice from 50 lakh metric tons in the last fiscal to 100 lakh metric tons in five years," Deka told TOI.
He said good rainfall would mean better rice production. In 2010-11, rice productivity increased to 1969 kg per hacter from 1765 kg per hacter in 2009-10. However, the state is still lagging behind the national average in terms of rice productivity which is 2227 kg per hacter.
There are encouraging signs, too, in the overall food grains production. Food grains production increased to 52.31 lakh metric tons in 2010-11 from 45.55 lakh metric tons in 2009-10. Assam bagged the "Best performing state" award among nine states under Category 2 of food grains section in 2010-11.
On Wednesday the state government organised a meeting on how to converge the efforts of other departments for giving a boost to agriculture. It was felt that coordination and contribution of irrigation, power, animal husbandry, panchayat and rural development departments were crucial for pushing up agricultural growth in the state. Irrigation and power are the two departments whose contribution would be vital.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who presided, said that without improving the rural economy, inclusive growth in the state cannot be achieved. Agriculture and other allied sectors have a crucial role to play in improving the rural economy, said Gogoi. "Through coordinated efforts from other departments we can boost up agriculture growth," felt Deka.