Thursday, June 23, 2011

Agriculture in West Bengal

Citation: Sen, H.S. (2011). Agriculture and Horticulture in West Bengal: Present Status Holds Promise while its Future Demands Long Term Planning with Focus on Commercialization. Presented during the Orientation Program for IAS Probationers 2010 batch at ATI, Kolkata, 20 June 2011.

Agriculture and Horticulture in West Bengal: Present Status Holds Promise while its Future Demands Long Term Planning with Focus on Commercialization1
H.S.Sen
Former Director, Central Research Institute for Jute & Allied Fibres (ICAR/ DARE, GoI), Barrackpore, WB
Present address: 2/74 Naktala, Kolkata 700 047; Tele: 9874189762, 2481 2936, 2411 2381
Email: hssen.india@gmail.com, hssen2000@hotmail.com
1 Introduction
West Bengal agriculture has occupied around 3 percent of India's productive land. More than 8 percent of India's food are being generated by the agricultural sector of West Bengal. Small and marginal farmers rule over the West Bengal agriculture and cultivates more than 68 percent of the total area. The principal food crop cultivated in West Bengal agriculture is rice. Other food crops of West Bengal include maize, pulses, oil seeds, wheat, barley, potatoes, fruits, flowers, and vegetables. The most vital cash crop of West Bengal is Tea and it is also exported every year. The three other commercial crops that are cultivated highly in the agricultural sector in West Bengal are jute, tobacco and sugarcane. The chances of increasing the area of cultivation are so less that the agricultural department of West Bengal decided to increase the fecundity of various crops cultivated over there by using superior quality seeds, fertilizers, various plant protection schemes as well as improved packages of practice. The department of agriculture in West Bengal also decided to distribute extra and vested land area to the actual agricultural labourers with the help of land reforms. This will act an added advantage to the productivity of the crops in West Bengal. There has been a significant rise in the cropping of West Bengal from 131 percent to 162 percent during the last 2 decades. West Bengal agriculture has been sustaining its consistency in attaining a track record in food grains production. The agriculture in West Bengal recorded highest production in rice, and so witnessed a remarkable rise from 0.24 million tones to 0.55 million tonnes in the last decade in its production of oil seeds. West Bengal agriculture also ranks second in potato production in India as it produces about 28 percent of the total potatoes cultivated in India. Apart from these food crops, West Bengal agriculture produces more than 60 percent of India's raw jute fibre. The paper presents an overview, in respect of agriculture and horticulture in the State, existing scenario in production, agricultural policy of the government, impact of land reforms on productivity vis-a-vis poverty alleviation, regional variability in production, marketing strategy, mission and scope for improvement to meet future targets.
2 Climate, Demography & GDP

The State of West Bengal lies between 21° 25' 24” and 27°13' 15” north latitudes and 85°48' 20” and 89°53' 04” east longitudes. The climate of the State is tropical and humid except in the northern hilly region which is close to the Himalayas. The average rainfall in the State is about 1750 mm with considerable variation among the districts ranging between 1234 mm in Birbhum
Presented during the Orientation Program for IAS Probationers 2010 batch at ATI, Kolkata, 20 June 2011

to 4136 mm in Jalpaiguri. The temperature in the mainland normally varies between 24°C to 40°C during summer and 7°C to 26°C during the winter. Spread over an area of 88752 sq km, the State accounts for 2.7% of the total geographical area of the country while its population of 801.76 lakh accounts for nearly 8 percent of the entire population of the country thus making West Bengal the most densely populated State as per 2001 census (903 persons per sq km as against the national average of 325 persons per sq km). The total scheduled caste population in the State at 184.53 lakh and the total scheduled tribe population at 44.07 lakh constitute 23.01 percent (all India: 16.20 percent) and 5.50 percent (all India: 8.20 percent) of the entire population of the State, respectively. The average literacy rate in the State is 68.64 percent (female literacy: 59.60 percent) which is higher than the national average of 65.38 percent (female literacy: 53.70 percent). Of the total rural workers, 19.53% and 19.30% are cultivators and agricultural labourers, respectively, while 4.72 percent are engaged in household industries According to the Planning Commission, 31.85 percent of the total population lived below poverty line in1999-2000.

The estimated Gross Domestic Product in the State at constant prices (Base Year:1999-00) was Rs.2,20,197.70 crore, which grew by 7.74 percent over 2006-07. The per capita income in the State at constant prices (Base Year: 1999-00) stood at Rs.23,228.71(growth by 6.78% over 2006-07) while the national per capita income stood marginally higher at Rs.24,295 (7.6 % growth). The primary sector contributed 24.16 percent to the State's GDP at constant prices (Base Year: 1999-00) during 2007-08 while it was 24.82 percent during 2006-07 and which has declined over the years from 31.45 percent during 1999-2000. In the agricultural sector, the State recorded a growth of 5.14 percent while the national growth rate was 4.90 percent (NABCONS).

3 Scenario in agriculture & horticulture sectors

NABCONS prepared an excellent scenario in land classification & distribution, agriculture, horticulture, irrigation potential, forestry & wasteland development, watershed development, scope for post-harvest technologies & value addition, rural industries, etc. in the State.

With nearly 72 percent of the population living in the rural areas, agriculture is the predominant occupation in the State. The index number of agricultural area, production and productivity during 2007-08 with 1981-82 as the base year was 116, 252 and 218, respectively. Agriculture in the State is small farmer centric with 90 percent of the cultivators being small and marginal farmers. Small and marginal farming communities hold 84% of the State’s agricultural lands. Marginal operational holding (less than 1 ha) accounts for 88.8 percent of the total operational holdings as against 69.8 percent at all India level. Cropping pattern in the State is dominated by food crops which account for about 78 percent of the area under principal crops. Rice is cultivated in 58.48 lakh hectares (production of 161.48 lakh MT) followed by cereals (all combined) in 63.49 lakh hectares and oilseeds in 7.14 lakh hectares, jute in 6.09 lakh hectares, and potato in 3.67 lakh hectares. The State is second largest producer of potato after Uttar Pradesh and one of the highest producers of vegetables in the country. Traditionally, West Bengal has been the highest producer of jute. The State also accounts for 25 percent of tea production in the country, next only to Assam. Against the ultimate irrigation potential of 67.43 lakh hectares, the gross irrigation potential created through major, medium and minor irrigation in the State till the end of March 2009 was 55.01 lakh hectares. The percentage utilization of potential created is 81.73 percent in major and medium irrigation structures and 81.64 percent in minor irrigation.

3.1 Strength

The State has highly productive soils with predominance of fertile alluviums which are responsive to different inputs and management practices. Besides, it has well developed irrigation infrastructure facilitating higher cropping intensity with potential for further development especially of ground water resources. It is excellent production base for horticulture crops especially fruits and vegetables with scope for further development, processing and value addition along with significant potential for production of high value cut flowers like dendrobium / cymbidium orchids, liliums, gladiolus, anthurium in the Darjeeling hills, gerbera rose in the plains under green houses, and many others.

3.2 Opportunities

The State has wide scope to utilize surface water due to large network of rivers and canals, and underground water resources. Promotion of rainwater harvesting especially in high/ intense rainfall regions and utilizing the same for supplemental/ life saving irrigation provides tremendous opportunity as an eco-friendly practice for increasing cropping intensity for the State. This technology option is more applicable to areas like the Sundarbans, red laterite zones covering Purulia, Bankura, parts of West Medinipur, Birbhum, etc. There is good opportunity for augmenting seed production through promotion of seed villages for production of certified seed with centralized processing/quality control facilities at block/ district level. It is noteworthy to mention the scope for a ‘Seed Hub’ in the northern part of the State at the foothills of the Himalayas to cater primarily to the needs not only for this State but also for Assam and N-E States. Development of location specific technologies for potato seed multiplication and establishment of exclusive cold storage facilities for potato seed is also worth attempting. It provides the scope for strengthening extension mechanism with focus on active involvement of informal channels for technology dissemination through Farmers’ Clubs promoted by NABCONS, farmers’ SHGs, and pro-active NGOs. Policy interventions favouring contract farming would facilitate exclusive production of varieties suitable for processing with user industry tie-up for buyback. Significantly, there are wide opportunities for export of horticulture produce especially tropical and exotic vegetables, mango, pineapple, litchi, potato in fresh and processed forms, as well as a number of cut flowers. Keeping in view the small holding nature where individual ownership of farm equipment is not a feasible and viable proposition, the concept of ‘Farm Machinery Hub’ has wide opportunities in the State.

3.3 Weaknesses

A total of 88 percent of the total land holdings belonging to marginal and small farmers with average holding size of 0.82 ha, limits the scope for introduction of technology innovations and interventions. There is predominance of rice based mono-cropping with less preference for crop rotation and diversification in fairly large area, as a result of which the overall production is restricted. Several parts of the State are flood prone with persisting drainage problem. There are reports of adverse impact on soil health and productivity due to imbalances in fertilizer application especially under intensive agriculture. There are striking evidences of micronutrient deficiencies/ toxicities particularly in the northern part of the State. Soil acidity is a common experience in many areas hitherto not heard of particularly in areas under intensive agriculture. Non-sodic saline and acid sulphate soils have been reported from the coastal areas of the Sundarbans. Application of organic fertilizers is very low with less than 10% area coverage due to which soil health is not good although soil fertility level may not be poor. There is low level of awareness among farmers on the significance of soil testing, or probably more correctly, insufficient and prompt services of the agencies offering the same, that leave the farmers with no choice but to apply fertilizers based on thumb rules. Inadequacies in availability of quality seed/ plant material for all the major crops grown in the State result in low levels of seed replacement. Total dependence on other States like Punjab for meeting the seed potato requirements is a major deterrent. Absence of exclusive cold storage facilities for seed potato affecting seed quality and viability is another limitation for the crop. Though the State is a major producer of fruits and vegetables, inadequate understanding of the scope for value addition vis-à-vis post-harvest handling coupled with insufficient cold storage facilities for perishable horticulture produce including potato are resulting in seasonal gluts and distress sales besides huge losses.

3.4 Threats

Occurrence of natural calamities like floods and cyclones, and consequent production, transport and storage losses, is a major threat towards sustenance in productivity and livelihood security for the inhabitants in the areas prone to such incidence. Indiscriminate exploitation of ground water may lead to several blocks falling under overexploited category limiting the scope for further development of irrigation facilities. There is also threat for large scale intrusion of saline seawater due to abstraction of underground water from the aquifer in the coastal belt. The coastal belt also faces ecological disaster due to harmful anthropological activities including felling of trees and damage to mangrove plantation. Vast stretch of alluvium belt is increasingly becoming prone to arsenic and western part to fluoride toxicity, possibly having a bearing on the nature of agricultural practices, especially in case of the former, and are considered a menace to the lives of human and animal population as well. Lesser share of certified seed and use of poor quality seed may affect crop productivity and overall production. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers & pesticides limits the scope for adherence to quality standards with special reference to exports. Smaller land holdings limit the scope for adoption of intensive crop production technologies, which are generally capital intensive. Increasing production costs especially labour due to proximity to metro city coupled with non-remunerative/ fluctuating prices for produce severely affect the profitability of agriculture and horticulture. Changes in socio-economic conditions, with younger generation originally belonging to farming community shying away from farming as an enterprise, more so because of falling return, prefer urban employment in place of agriculture.




3.5 Land utilization

Net sown area covered 60.63 percent of the total reporting area during the period 1985-86 and 2006-07, while the current fallows varied between 0.7 to nearly 4 percent during the same period. Area under forests covered 13 to 14 percent of the total reporting area while 19-20 percent of the area was not available for cultivation.

3.6 Operational holding

In West Bengal marginal operational holding (less than 1 ha) accounts for 88.8 percent of the total operational holdings as against 69.8 percent at all India level. Incidentally, this is the second highest in the country after Kerala. The trend of distribution in respect of small and other classes are much behind that of All India level. Large holdings (above 10 ha) are absent. Over the years number of holdings increased to a large extent owing to fragmentation and the average holding size stood at 0.82 ha in the during 2000-01 as against 0.94 ha during 1980-81.

3.7 Agricultural crops

The cropping pattern in the State is dominated by food crops which account for about 78 percent of the area under principal crops. Among single crops, paddy is cultivated in 57.19 lakh hectares followed by cereals (all combined) in 61.69 lakh hectares and oilseeds in 7.07 lakh hectares, jute in 6.09 lakh hectares and potato in 4.00 lakh hectares. West Bengal was the largest producers of paddy in the country with a production of 14719.50 MT in the year 2007-08 while the second largest producer of potato after Uttar Pradesh with 9900.80 MT in the same year. With a vegetable production of 12555960 MT, the State is also one of the highest producers of vegetable in the country. Traditionally, West Bengal has been the highest producer of jute. The State also accounts for 25 percent of tea production in the country, next only to Assam. There are 309 tea estates in the State in the organized sector covering 103431 hectares. Besides, 8078 small growers are growing tea in 11094 hectares. Over the years, detailed data for selected crops on area coverage, production and productivity, etc. when recalculated using the index numbers for the assessment of different parameters would show that overall agricultural growth rates have plateaued with marginal ups and downs, quantitative loss in one being compensated by gains in another and vice versa. Production of rice and wheat has increased during 2006-07 over that in the year 1990-91. However production of pulses declined during the same period. Of the oilseeds, production of rapeseed and mustard remained almost static, while the production of sesame and other oilseeds improved during 2006-07 over that of 1990-91. Production of raw jute also improved over the years. Production of potato and sugarcane improved during the period under reference. A look into the comparative yield rates in West Bengal and India would reveal that per hectare yield in rice, gram and potato is higher in the State than at all India level while the yield rates in wheat and mustard are lower than the all India level. It may also be observed that there has been a substantial improvement in the yield rates of different crops both at the State and All India level during the period 1980-81 and 2007-08. Cropping intensity in West Bengal improved steadily during the period 1990-91 to 2006-07 as the same was recorded as high as 182 percent during 2006-07 as against 159 recorded during 1990-91. Contribution of West Bengal to all India production of jute, potato, sesame, tea and rice were quite substantial, as these crops contributed 70.75, 30.35, 22.80, 20.28 and 14.16 percent, respectively, to the total all India production. The coverage under high yielding varieties of rice improved significantly during the recent years where more than 90 percent of areas under rice have been covered with high yielding varieties. The entire wheat area has been under high yielding since the eighties.

3.7.1 Fertilizer & Pesticide consumption

The consumption of fertilizers in the State has been rising over the years both in quantity and per ha application. The consumption of fertilizer NPK per hectare in 2007-08 has been 150 kg ha-1 in the ratio of nutrients N, P, K being 2.22 : 1.26 : 1. Pesticide consumption, however, remained either static or improved marginally.

3.7.2 Irrigation potential

Total ultimate irrigation potential of the State is 67.43 lakh hectares. The State Water Investigation Directorate (SWID) has assessed the ultimate gross irrigation potential that can be created through minor irrigation development in the State at 44.33 lakh hectares. Of this, 13 lakh hectares are from surface water sources and 31.33 lakh hectares are from ground water sources. The gross irrigation potential created through major, medium and minor irrigation in the State till the end of March 2009 was 55.01 lakh hectares. The percentage of utilization of potential created is 81.73 percent in major and medium irrigation structures, while it is 81.64 percent in minor irrigation. Out of the ultimate gross minor irrigation potential of 44.33 lakh hectare, 39.30 lakh hectares has been created up to 2008-09.

3.7.3 Agricultural marketing

The Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act in West Bengal was implemented by the government in 1971. There are 43 Principal Market Yards and 641 Sub-Market Yards as on 31 October 2007. There are still 795 markets outside the purview of notified area of regulated market committees in West Bengal. The State is, however, yet to amend the APMC Act on the lines of the guidelines issued by Government of India. Of late, the government is considering amending the act so as to allow private corporate houses to procure agricultural produce directly from Self Help Groups (SHGs) instead of individuals.

3.7.4 Land development

Out of the total reported area of 86.84 lakh ha in the State, around 22.14 lakh ha constituting nearly 25% is affected by different problems associated with land degradation. The problems associated with land degradation are rill, gullies and ravines, waterlogging, saline/ saline alkali, mining, sea coastal, landslide, stream bank erosion and sand ladening. Development of the degraded areas adopting watershed approach needs to be given priority. Other investments such as land leveling, shaping, bench terracing, on-farm development, vermicompost making, etc. should also be popularized amongst the farmers.

3.7.5 Farm mechanization

The scope for mechanization exists in cultivation of almost all the major crops grown in the State, viz. paddy, wheat, mustard, groundnut, potato, jute, etc. There is also the scope of mechanization of horticultural crops mainly for crop protection and harvesting operations. The existing level of available farm power is about 1.2 kW ha-1 which is inadequate to enhance the cropping intensity and output of the farm sector. This level needs to be raised to 3.0 KW/ha by 2020.

3.8 Plantation & Horticultural crops

The State has immense potential for development in horticulture sector both through horizontal (area expansion) and vertical integration (productivity improvement). With the implementation of National Horticulture Mission, the State Government contemplates doubling the production under horticulture crops by the year 2011. It may be mentioned that McKinsey, in its vision document for West Bengal, has said that the State should aspire to be ‘the food bowl of India’. The potential for cultivation of horticulture crops such as banana, mango, pineapple, etc, tea plantations and floriculture amongst other crops is estimated at Rs.385.89 crore. The area coverage under fruits increased marginally by 3.80 percent during 2007-08 over the preceding year and production increased by 4.78 percent. The area under vegetables increased marginally to 9.12 lakh hectares in 2007-08 from 9.04 lakh hectares in 2006-07. Area under flowers increased by 5.55% in 2007-08 over 2006-07 and production of loose flowers increased by about 11 percent during 2007-08 over 2006-07. Production of cut flowers, however, increased by 52 percent during the same period. The production of major fruits like, mango, banana, papaya in the State has been increasing steadily over the last few years, however pineapple production has declined. Among the vegetables production, tomato, cabbage, brinjal, cucurbits, lady’s finger are increasing.

3.8.1 Fruits and Vegetables

Among fruits, while mango occupies the largest area, about 42% of the total under fruit crops, the State contributes 22.88% and 10% of national pineapple and litchi production, respectively and thus ranks 1st and 2nd in production at the national level for these two crops, respectively. The other important fruit crops grown are guava banana, sapota, mandarin, jackfruit, etc. The total area under fruit crops in the State is 1.942 lakh ha with a production of 27.67 lakh MT (2007-08). Malda, Murshidabad, 24 Parganas North, Nadia and Darjeeling are some of the major fruit growing districts in West Bengal. It is also the largest producer of vegetables in the country producing traditional vegetables like brinjal, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, cucurbits and lady’s finger, and non-traditional vegetables like broccoli, gherkin, baby corn, brussel sprout, celery, etc. Cauliflower, cabbage and brinjal contribute to 36, 34 and 31% of the national production, respectively. The total area under vegetables (excluding potato) is 9.124 lakh ha with annual production of 125.56 lakh MT (2007-08). Major vegetable growing districts include Murshidabad, Nadia, North & South 24 Parganas, Burdwan, Hooghly and Bankura. The State is the second largest producer of potato with highest productivity (26 MT/ha as against national average of 18 MT/ha).

3.8.2 Flowers

The State enjoys favourable agro-climatic conditions to grow a variety of both traditional and high value/ exotic flowers. Historically, development of floriculture in India began in the Darjeeling hills of North Bengal. In fact, nurseries at Kalimpong, in Darjeeling district, were among the first to export floriculture products from India to USA, UK and other European countries. Tuberose, Rose, Chrysanthemum, Gladiolus, Marigold, Jasmine, Sunflower, Gerbera, Gypsophila, Balsam, China rose, Cosmos, Orchid and Lily are some of the major ornamentals grown. It also grows substantial quantity of bulb, corm, and foliage plants. This advantage gives West Bengal the scope for commercial floriculture, especially in North Bengal and also in some parts of South Bengal. The gross area under different floriculture crops in the State is 19,590 ha with a production of 48,500 MT of loose flowers and 196.80 crore spikes. Important flower growing districts include East & West Midnapur, Nadia, Darjeeling, North & South 24 Parganas and Howrah.

3.8.3 Spices

The total area under different spice crops in the State is 1.12 lakh ha with an annual production of 2.999 lakh MT. The major spice crops include chillies, ginger, turmeric, coriander and large cardamom. The important districts include Coochbehar, Nadia, North & South 24 Parganas, West Midnapore, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling.

3.8.4 Plantation crops

Among plantation crops, excluding tea, coconut, arecanut, betelvine and cashew are the major crops together accounting for 69848 ha. Betelvine, which is cultivated in 18597 ha provides sustainable livelihood to a large number of small and marginal farmers.

3.8.5 Tea

Tea is the main plantation crop covering about 1.13 lakh ha with a production of about 200 million kg and is mainly concentrated in the three districts, i.e. Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Uttar Dinajpur. Some of the critical issues relating to the tea industry include:

· Low levels of productivity, consequently high cost of production,
· Decline in quality of production,
· Declining price trend in international markets, adversely influencing domestic prices,
· Tough competition from other tea exporting countries like Kenya, Sri Lanka, China and Vietnam which have competitive advantage due to high productivity and low production cost,
· Stagnant / marginal increase in domestic consumption from 714 million kg in 2003 to 757 million kg in 2005 (< 3% annual increase),

Out of the above, productivity enhancement and reduction in production cost are the only factors which can be moderated at producer level. Hence the emphasis now should be on addressing these factors, which have a bearing on gaining competitive advantage in the export market.

Against a suggested replantation rate of 2%, the actual rate of replantation is less than 0.3%. High investments in replanting and crop loss (from existing gardens) are attributed to low rate of replanting. Rejuvenation and infilling in mid age group gardens is another area for productivity enhancement where again not much emphasis is being given by the tea industry. With a view to encouraging systemic replantation, the Tea Board has launched a new subsidy-cum-loan assistance programme under the Special Purpose Tea Fund (SPTF) constituted for the purpose.

3.8.6 Medicinal and Aromatic plants

In West Bengal, the diverse agro-climatic and physiographic conditions in the plains and hilly zone offer scope for cultivation of a variety of high value medicinal and aromatic plants. The total area under medicinal plants is estimated to be around 550 ha. However, the crop wise area coverage details are not available. Keeping in view the agro-climate and the demand from herbal-based industry in the State, the Medicinal Plant Board, West Bengal has identified 37 medicinal and aromatic plant species for commercial promotion in the State. Some of the constraints associated with promotion of commercial cultivation of medicinal plants in the State are:

· Unorganized production. The concept of commercial production yet to be introduced
· Absence of reliable information/ database on production, procurement, processing and marketing channels in the State limiting the scope for identifying mapping the potential for development, addressing the infrastructure needs and market linkages
· Lack of awareness among farmers
· Absence of a mechanism to create awareness among the farmers
· Inadequacies in input supply including plant material, technical/ extension support
· Totally unorganized marketing with middlemen and intermediaries deciding on the prices for the produce often to their advantage

Of late, a few user pharmaceutical industries (Ayurveda/ allopathic) are entering into contract farming with farmers for sourcing their raw material requirements. Contract farming offers very good scope for promotion of herbal industry in the districts as it provides assured market for the produce. It would also facilitate the banks to extend finance to the farmers for cultivation through appropriate tie-up.


3.8.7 Demand analysis for horticulture produce

The per capita consumption of fruits and vegetables in the country, including the State of West Bengal, is less than 200 g per day against the recommended norm of 350 g. Inadequate production, transport and distribution bottlenecks associated with perishable produce are major contributing reasons for low level of consumption. This apart, predominantly cereal based food consumption habit in the country is also considered a major reason. This is amply explained from the fact that in West Bengal with a population of 8.74 crore (census 2001), the total production of vegetables including potato in 2007-08 was 224.56 lakh tonne. Considering 20 percent wastage, another 20 percent for outside trading and seeds, and 10 percent for processing and exports around 50 percent of production, i.e. 112.28 lakh tonnes were available for consumption. This works out to 303 g per head per day. But consumption of West Bengal is only 125 g (50th National Sample Survey Bulletin No. 402). One consequence of this trend is the high pressure on food grains. It is difficult to cope up with the rising demand of the food grains but the pressure can be offloaded by supplementing with vegetables. This approach is also crucial for ensuring nutritional security and addressing the endemic problem of malnutrition. Since the pressure on land is high and scope for area expansion is limited as in the case of food crops, the emphasis should be more on vertical integration through productivity enhancement
measures.

3.8.8 Projected requirement of fruits and vegetables in West Bengal

With rapid urbanization, the demand for fruits and vegetables especially in sorted graded and value added form is reflecting an increasing trend. Similar trend is also observed for exotic and specialty fruits and vegetables like organic and RTS products. Keeping in view the expected population growth, the requirements of fruits and vegetables in the State have been worked out. The data suggest a widening gap between consumption needs and likely production highlighting the opportunities available for increased production, which inter alia calls for an integrated approach including convergence of various development programmes under implementation.

3.8.9 National Horticulture Mission

Consequent upon announcement of National Horticulture Mission (NHM), the GoWB has prepared a comprehensive Horticulture Mission Document (SHMD) which serve as the basis for an integrated development of horticulture in the State. NHM is a centrally sponsored scheme with 100% GoI assistance during Tenth Plan and at 85% and 15% assistance from GoI and State Govt., respectively during Eleventh Plan. The West Bengal Horticulture Development Society has been constituted as State level project implementing agency with District Horticulture Development Societies. Taking into account the potentials available, 14 districts have been identified as Focus districts for development. Four districts namely, Uttar and Dakshin Dinajpur, Bardhaman and Howrah are categorized as non-NHM districts.
3.8.10 Agri Export Zones

In the context of favourable agro-climate, predominance of fruit and vegetable production in the State and considering the logistical advantages, especially easy access to bordering countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, South East Asian countries and Asia-Pacific region for exports, five Agri Export Zones (AEZ) have been set up in the State jointly by APEDA and the Government exclusively under fruit and vegetable sectors.

3.8.11 Programmes of National Horticulture Board

National Horticulture Board is implementing several schemes with primary objective of encouraging adoption of improved production technologies by horticulture growers. Under the programme subsidy assistance is provided to the farmers availing bank credit for taking up scientific horticulture production. The broad areas of covered under the scheme include:

· High density planting of fruit tree crops
· Intensive vegetable farming under controlled conditions (greenhouses)
· Adoption of precision farming technologies including drip/ fertigation systems
· Commercial floriculture units for cut flower production
· Strengthening of post harvest handling infrastructure including sorting, grading, packing and integrated cold chain components

3.9 Forestry & Wasteland development

The total recorded forest area in the State is 11,879 sq km of which 7054 sq km is ‘Reserved Forest’, 3772 sq km is protected forest, and 1053 sq km, being Unclassified Forest, thus constituting 13.38% of the geographical area of the State. By legal status, Reserved Forests constitute 59.38%, Protected Forests 31.75%, Unclassified Forest 8.87%. The forest cover including the forests created outside the recorded forest area is 15.52% of the geographical area as assessed in the year 2005. There is potential for jatropha and bamboo cultivation and for development of farm forestry and nurseries. During the year 2007-08, 231570 cum of timber; 262023 cum of firewood; 251.28 quintal of honey; 13.96 quintal of wax; 1296.30 MT of Sal seed; 2065.34 MT of Kendu leaves, and 3227.14 quintal of citronella grass were harvested from different forest areas and total revenue of Rs.4856.14 lakh was earned.

WHAT happens to rainwater

Ø 60% is lost as SURFACE RUNOFF
Ø 30% is lost due to EVAPORATION
Ø Only 10% is being harvested out
of which:
Ø 3% percolates on its own to
recharge ground water
Ø 7% is harvested as surface
storage in reservoirs, etc.4 Watershed development

Indian agriculture is dependent on monsoon which is not uniform over the year and because of climate change it has changed the pattern thoroughly. Nearly three-fourth of the cultivable land in India is dependent on monsoon, which is contributing nearly 42% of the total production from agriculture. The productivity of any crop mainly depends on two natural resources – land and water in addition to management practices. Therefore the conservation of two natural resources is essential for the sustainability of rainfed agriculture. This could be done using the watershed method.

Watershed Development projects have been taken up under different programs launched by the Govt. of India. The Drought Prone Area Program (DPAP) and the Desert Development Program (DDP) adopted the watershed approach in 1987. The Integrated Wasteland Development Projects Scheme (IWDP) taken up by the National
HOW to harvest more

ü Well recharging
ü Roof top rain water harvesting
ü Collecting surface run off in farm pond
Obstructing flow by:
ü underground bandh
ü cement concrete bandh
ü plastic sheet bandhWasteland Development Board in 1989 also aimed at developing wastelands on a watershed basis. The Program now has been brought under the administrative jurisdiction of the Dept. of Wastelands, Development in the Ministry of Rural Development. The fourth major program based on watershed concept is the National Watershed Development Program in Rainfed Area (NWDPRA) under the Ministry of Agriculture. So far, these programs have laid down their own separate guidelines, norms, funding pattern and technical components based on their respective and specific aims. While DDP focused on reforestation to arrest the growth of hot and cold deserts, DPAP concentrated on non-arable lands and drainage lines for in situ soil and moisture conservation, agroforestry, pasture development, horticulture, and alternate land uses. The IWDP on the other hand made silvi-pasture, soil and moisture conservation on wasteland. The NWDPRA combines the features of all these three programs with the additional dimension of improving arable lands through better crop management technologies. The components identified in the watershed development are the soil and water conservation, water resource development, agricultural productivity and most important being the people’s participation in development of watershed.

The basic objective of watershed development program is integrated wasteland development based on micro-watershed plans. It is a community based natural resource management initiative with focus on treatment of wastelands with people’s participation and community mobilization, long term sustainability for poverty alleviation. In West Bengal, the two centrally sponsored programs, i.e. Integrated Wastelands Development Program (IWDP) and Drought Prone Area Program (DPAP) are implemented by the P&RD in the western part of the State in five districts, i.e. Purulia, Bankura, Paschim Medinipur, Birbhum and Burdwan. There is another program with support from NABARD as loan and grant which is being implemented in the State. There are 38 watershed projects under assistance from NABARD are being implemented in the State of which 25 projects are in full scale implementation phase. Watershed development being a process intensive program requires long term planning with the active participation of the community throughout the entire stages of formulation, implementation of the project and also maintenance of the assets created. The funding of the IWDP is borne by the Central and State Govt. in the ratio 11:1. In respect of DPAP the same ratio is 75:25. The projects are implemented over a period of five years and the cost of the treatment is Rs 6,000 per ha. An Action plan is prepared for an individual project and as such the projects normally take a considerable period of time for launching full scale implementation.
5 Food processing

The agro and food processing industries sector is one of the largest in terms of production, consumption, export and growth prospects. This sector ranks fifth in the country in size, employs over 1.6 million workers (20% of the nation’s labour force) and accounts for 15.19% of total industry output with 5.5% of the GDP. India’s growing domestic demand for value added processed foods and its self-sufficiency in supply is the contributing factors for the growth of this sector. It is estimated that the Food Processing Industry in India will attract phenomenal investment - capital, human, technological and financial- of over Rs. 1,40,000 crore in the next decade. The State of West Bengal is a significant producer of many horticulture and agriculture produce. The State has achieved significant growth in agriculture production over the past decade (CAGR of 4.5% during 1996-2001). The State accounts for nearly 20% rice, 28% potato & 27% pineapple out of the national production. While there has been a spectacular rise in food grains production over the years, only 1% of the total production is utilized for processing and the post-harvest loss accounts for nearly 30%. The State has attained self-sufficiency in food production with reasonable amount of marketable surplus for most of the key crops and fast emerging as the “Food Bowl” of the country. The wide raw material base and market give the State a natural advantage to invest in Fruit and Vegetable Processing, Spices and Grain Processing Industries. The Eastern & Northeastern regions have an easy access to bordering countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Asia-Pacific region for exports. West Bengal has also the advantage in floriculture because of conducive agro-climatic condition. The potential for investment in food processing sector in the State of West Bengal has been assessed at Rs.15451 crore (over next 10 years period) and the State has been ranked as third best potential after Maharastra and Tamil Nadu for investment in the sector.

5.1 Potential sectors for investment

5.1.1 Food grain processing

The State being the largest producer of rice offers scope for investing especially in

ü Rice milling units including modernization of rice mills
ü Processing of rice which includes products like pre and parboiled rice, rice powder, puffed rice, rice flakes (Indian dried & flattened rice) and rice crisps
ü Solvent extraction units for production of rice bran oil. The State also has significant presence in the oilseed sector indicating the scope of investment in oilseed processing.

5.1.2 Fruit & Vegetable processing

West Bengal with diverse agro-climatic condition is conducive for growing a wide variety of horticultural crops. Amongst the fruit crops, mango occupies the highest area (42% of area under fruits). The other important fruit crops are Pineapple, Banana, Papaya, Guava, Mandarin, Orange, Jack fruit, Litchi, etc. The total area under fruit crops in the State is 1.942 lakh ha with a production of 27.67 lakh MT (2007-08). The State is among the largest producers of vegetables in the country producing traditional vegetables like brinjal, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, cucurbits and lady’s finger, and non-traditional vegetables like broccoli, gherkin, baby corn, Brussels sprout, celery, etc. The total area under vegetables (excluding potato) is 9.124 lakh ha with annual production of 125.56 lakh MT (2007-08). Despite having a wide raw material base, a majority of fruits and vegetables produced in the State are being marketed fresh.

Seasonal gluts and consequent price fall are the common marketing problems being encountered in the State as is the case elsewhere in the country. However, considering the comparative advantage that the State offers in terms of production of fruits and vegetables, initial efforts for processing has gone for a few crops such as pineapple and potato.

Availability of different fruits and vegetables in different production periods make the State a potential area especially for setting up multi-product based fruit and vegetable processing industry for ensuring better capacity utilization during a major part of the year. Despite having a wide raw material base, a majority of fruits and vegetables are sold in fresh/ raw form. Seasonal gluts and consequent price fall are the common marketing problems being encountered. Some of the potential products which have good domestic and export demand at present and can be produced in the State includes:

Ø Frozen/ Dehydrated fruits and vegetables
Ø Jams, Jellies, Juices, Squashes
Ø Potato Granules/ Flakes/ Fries/ Chips/ Dehydrated potato cubes/ Slices
Ø Processed Mushroom

6 Development of rural industries

Development of Rural Industries, i.e. both agro-based and non-farm industries have an important role in development of the State. Rural industries include Micro and Small Industries, Khadi and Village Industries, Handicrafts and Handloom & Textile industries. Around 80% of Small and Medium (SMEs) industries fall under Rural Industries segment. The employment generated in this sector is highest after Agriculture. The growth in employment generation of rural based small scale & cottage industries is much more than in large and medium scale sector. Considering the acute unemployment problem, within the youths of landless labour and small & marginal families, growth of rural industries is the appropriate intervention forum to create employment opportunities, as the cultivated land is limited.

Rural non-farm sector accounts for 22% of rural employment. Nearly 60% of industrial output in
the State is from the cottage & small scale industries sector, which accounts for 50% of the State’s overall exports. The employment scenario of the sector is as under:

· Micro & Small enterprise : 30.67 lakhs / 11.81 lakhs
· Khadi & Village Industries : 2.57 lakhs
· Handicraft sector : 5.50 lakhs
· Handloom & Textile sector : 3.35 lakhs


Priority areas should be:

· Development of SHGs for the micro units of village industries (specially for handicrafts /
food processing industries)
· Strengthening linkages for institutional credit facilities for micro & small enterprises
· Intensification of small industries cluster development program
· Development of infrastructure through Private – Public Partnership.


6.1 Handloom & Textile industries

Textile sector includes handloom, Power looms, Hosiery and Readymade garments enterprises. With over 6.60 lakh people directly or indirectly associated with handloom activities, the sector assumes significance as an employment provider. Out of these only 10% are in the co-operative fold, while remaining are outside of it mostly in unorganized sector. Besides there are nearly 2.5 lakh people directly or indirectly associated with power looms, hosiery readymade garment and other textile related activities. Annual handloom production in 2007 – 08 in the State is about 921.20 million metres.

Efforts have been made to provide information related to current fashion, design, color combination, etc. There are approximately 6.67 lakh hand loom weavers in the cooperative. Many social security and promotional schemes are under the implementation for the handloom weavers, such as Health Insurance schemes, Mahatma Gandhi Bima Yojana (MGBBY), Old age Pension Scheme, Siksha Sahayog Yojana (SSY), Deen Dayal Hath Kargha Protsahan Yojana (DDHPY), Handloom Export Promotion Scheme, etc. In this sector, implementations of two nos. of cluster based interventions are already under progress. Detailed diagnostic studies in these 25 handloom clusters are underway. A total of 43 handloom clusters have been so far identified in the State.

6.2 Handicraft industries

Handicraft sector has tremendous potentiality in West Bengal because of its vast natural resource base and for a superior cultural atmosphere. This sector has potentiality to engage rural youths and woman in individual capacity or SHGs to revenue generation process. Help is required to standardize product and marketing linkages by Govt. or NGOs or any other agencies. Training is another important part for the artisans or SHG members to add value to their business plan. Now Govt. is conducting State level Expo in Kolkata and Siliguri and participate in different melas across the State to spread knowledge about the market. There are so many welfare schemes for the artisans such as payment of pension to old age Handicraft artisans, re – imbursement of TA/ DA carrying cost, etc. for attending Expos., and other events of the like. Govt. is planning to set up four urban haats for marketing of handicrafts product manufactured by the artisans of West Bengal at Bolpur, Durgapur, Berhampur and Siliguri. The artisans will get space in these urban haats so that they can sell their product directly to the customers.


6.3 Coir industries

The State has good potential for development of coir industries. There are 40 registered and 370 unregistered SSI units in Coir Industries in the State providing employment to 3184 people. The availability of coconut husk and skilled person in the Howrah and South 24 Parganas districts have encouraged setting intensive development program in the coir industries in these districts. The artisans/ units manufacturing coir products are selling their product directly through the retail outlet situated in different urban areas. Besides, in the field of jute & allied fibres there are nearly 60 private industries in the organized sector and about 1200 small private industries in the unorganized sector with large demand for raw fibres and their diversified products in domestic and international market engage large workforce in the State.

6.4 Lac industries

The basic raw material is cultivated in the monocroped and drought prone areas of Purulia, Bankura, Midnapur, Murshidabad, and Malda. The processing Units are mainly in Purulia district. Their yearly raw material requirement is nearby 15 MT to 17 MT. The total stick lac production of the State only caters to 10 – 15% of the requirement. However lac and lac based items have a very good export potential. On an average, 16 million dollar of foreign exchange is earned annually from the export of lac & lac based item. Steps have to be taken to increase the production of raw materials in drought prone areas and up-gradation of finished products to market it more aggressively in the local and international market.

6.5 Khadi & Village industries

Under the sector more than 2.57 lakh people are employed at present and there is a scope to upscale it manifold. Both the Central and State Govts. are putting efforts to make this sector competitive at the time of free market economy. Lots of schemes envisage to:

Ø provide trainings to the unemployed youth (mainly women) in beekeeping
Ø render market assistance to the certified K& VI institutions/ sales centres
Ø develop infrastructure of khadi producing centres, construction of Khadi Museum, setting up of Baluchari Saree Complex
Ø re-organize handmade paper centre
Ø renovate Sales outlets of K & VI Board (Gramin)
Ø provide encouragement and instill modern outlook to re-define this sector showing signs of revival

6.6 Biofuel energy

Rising cost of fossil fuels, energy security concerns, and increased awareness of climate change have led to considerable public attention to concentrate on bio-energy. Bio-energy includes traditional biomass to produce electricity, light and heat. Primarily due to a lack of affordable alternatives, millions of people in developing countries depend on traditional bio-energy (e.g. wood fuels) for their cooking and heating needs, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This reliance on traditional bio-energy pose considerable environmental, health, economic and social challenges. New efforts are needed to improve traditional bio-energy concept and accelerate the transition to more sustainable forms of energy. First generation biofuels consist predominantly of bio-ethanol and biodiesel produced from agricultural crops (e.g. maize, sugarcane). Production has been growing fast in recent years, primarily due to biofuel support policies since they are cost competitive only under particularly favourable circumstances. The diversion of agricultural crops to fuel can raise food prices and pose a threat to food security. Next generation biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol and biomass-to-liquid technologies allow conversion into biofuels of more abundant and cheaper feed stocks than the earlier generation did. This could potentially reduce agricultural land requirements per unit of energy produced and improve lifecycle GHG emissions, potentially mitigating the environmental pressures from first generation biofuels. However, next generation biofuel technologies are not yet commercially proven and environmental and social effects are still uncertain. For, example, the use of feedstock and farm residues can compete with the need to maintain organic matter in sustainable agro-ecosystems.

For all forms of bio-energy, decision makers should carefully weigh full social, environmental and economic costs against realistically achievable benefits and other sustainable energy options. Food crop biofuel is economically viable only when food price are low and fuel price are high. The State of West Bengal has high potentiality to use biofuel energy.

7 Agricultural productivity: impacts of land reforms

There are various scholars who have contributed different ideas, methods and techniques to measure the agricultural productivity (Khan et al.). Swaminathan (2009) expressed that agriculture is not just a food providing machine but the backbone of the livelihood of sixty percent of people of India. Peter Timmer (1988) argued that the growth in agricultural productivity is central to development. Agriculture is the largest sector of the nation which provides about one-fourth GDP, gives livelihood to more than sixty percent of population and employs nearly 69 percent of the total workforce (Ranganathan, 2003). Thus, the development of agriculture sector can serve up as a catalyst for rapid growth of whole economy (Maity and Chatterjee, 2006).

According to Hanstad and Brown (2001) providing the poor with access to land is not anti-growth. International evidence overwhelmingly endorses a rural growth strategy based on the dynamism of small, family farms. Contrary to much conventional wisdom, this means increasing the share of farmland operated in small units, which are demonstrably more poverty-reducing than large holdings and are typically more productive per unit area. Based upon these constitutional principles, in the three decades following Independence, most States enacted land reform laws: (1) placing a ceiling on land holdings and redistributing the surplus, and/or (2) regulating tenancy arrangements. Most of these laws were considered to be largely ineffective in achieving their desired intentions of transferring land “to the tiller” and elevating the economic position of tenants.

The land reform laws adopted and implemented in West Bengal are an exception to the general lack of land reform progress in India. Although West Bengal comprises only 3.3% of India’s arable land, it accounts for 20% of all ceiling-surplus land redistributed in India and 46% of all recipients of above-ceiling land in India. West Bengal’s tenancy reform, commonly known as Operation Barga, is often cited as the most extensive and effective tenancy reform in India.

In the decades since Independence, West Bengal’s land reform progress can be described as occurring in three phases. The first phase (1953-1966) saw the adoption of the basic legislation, little progress in above-ceiling redistribution, and virtually no progress (in fact a deterioration) in protecting bargadars (sharecroppers). In the second phase (1967-1976) West Bengal made most of the overall achievements in above-ceiling redistribution, and made little progress in protecting the rights of bargadars. In the third phase (1977-present) tremendous progress was made in recording and protecting the rights of bargadars, and the redistribution of above-ceiling land continued, but at a slower pace. The West Bengal Land Reforms Act is the key piece of legislation addressing land reform and land rights in West Bengal. The Act covers a range of land-related topics, but most significantly it: (1) defines the rights and obligations of landowners and bargadars; (2) prohibits fixed rate leasing of land; (3) places a ceiling on the size of landholdings; (4) defines how land taken by the government should be distributed; and (5) limits the transferability of land held by Scheduled Tribe members as well as much of the land obtained through redistribution.

Mr. Asok Gupta, former Chief Secretary to Govt. of WB stated that according to the World Bank, between 1977-78 and 1993-94, poverty in West Bengal declined by 4.2% per annum, the sharpest decline among the States in India. In 1999-2000 according to an independent estimate, rural poverty (i.e. percentage of persons below the poverty line) was 22.7% and urban poverty was 11.4%. The annual rate of growth in per capita income at constant prices increased from 1.78% in the period 1980-81 to 1986-87 to 3.05% in the 1987-88 to 1993-94 period. In the period 1993-94 to 2001-02, per capita income in the State increased by 5.1% per annum, the highest among the developed States in India. In contrast to other States, the moving force of agricultural change and of the dynamism of the rural economy in the State of WB 1980s and 1990s were thus (Ramachandran et al.) the small cultivators. Agricultural growth in West Bengal was made possible because of the removal, by means of land reform and the establishment of panchayati raj, of institutional fetters to growth. It has been pointed out by Dr. Abhijit Sen, the noted Economist and the Member, Planning Commission that “the West Bengal example, where value added has grown faster than gross output, contrary to the trends elsewhere, suggests that greater efficiency in input use is possible through reform and devolution". He once commented in 1992 that "West Bengal, with a growth rate of over 7 percent per annum in agricultural value added -- more than two-and-a-half times the national average -- can be described as the agricultural success story of the eighties".

Effort was made to evaluate the effect of agricultural tenancy laws offering security of tenure to tenants and regulating the share of output that is paid as rent on farm productivity (Banerjee et al., 2002). Theoretically, the net impact of tenancy reform is shown to be a combination of two effects: a bargaining power effect and a security of tenure effect. Analysis of evidence on how contracts and productivity changed after a tenancy reform program was implemented in the Indian State of West Bengal in the late 1970s suggests that tenancy reform had a positive effect on agricultural productivity there.

Revisit was made at a much later stage by Bardhan and Mookherjee (2007) to evaluate the classical question of productivity implications of sharecropping tenancy, in the context of tenancy reforms in West Bengal, studied previously by Banerjee et al. (2002). They utilized a disaggregated farm panel, controlling for other land reforms, agriculture input supply services, infrastructure spending of local governments, and potential endogeneity of land reform implementation. They continued to find significant positive effects of lagged village tenancy registration rates. But the direct effects on tenant farms are overshadowed by spillover effects on non-tenant farms. The effects of tenancy reform are also dominated by those of input supply programs and irrigation expenditures of local governments. These results indicated that the effects of the tenancy reform cannot be interpreted as reduction of Marshall-Mill sharecropping distortions alone; village-wide impacts of land reforms and agricultural input supply programs administered by local governments deserve greater attention. They further summarized that the effects of Operation Barga on rice yields and farm value added per acre were somewhat smaller in magnitude compared with Banerjee et al. (2002), using data from an independent source at a disaggregated farm level, with controls for endogeneity of program implementation and other concurrent panchayat programs.

8 Regional variation in agricultural productivity and crop diversification

8.1 Regional variability

The spatial patterns of agricultural productivity, levels of development and their causal relationship perceptibly point out that there is a wide range of variations among the districts of the study area (Khan et al.). The geographical patterns of agricultural productivity are characterized by high level in south-western and northern parts of the State. However, the composite mean z-score values of developmental indicators point out that the level of development is high among the southern districts in comparison to northern and eastern fringe districts of the State of West Bengal. The analysis of relationship between agricultural productivity and levels of development indicates that there are wide geographical disparities in the State in respect of these two aspects. In another study (Ghosh, 2010) also it was found that the crop production variability changes significantly across the districts and, in general, the higher growth path is associated with the higher degree of variability. Therefore, it was suggested by Khan et al. to evolve such strategies that the horizontal disparities and vertical inequalities may be minimized in respect of agricultural growth and levels of socio-economic development. However, for sustainable agrarian development, the methods and techniques of agriculture should have to be adopted after considering the ecological constraints in a region. Such horizontal disparities in production level have also to be accounted for another aspect of planning, i.e. crop diversification in order to meet the requirement for food basket of the State, the basis of which is described below.

8.2 Crop diversification

According to Ramachandran et al. one of the objectivities of the State is to improve yields in rice production, and also releasing a significant proportion of rice cropped area in the State for diversification, in particular, for oilseeds, pulses, fruit, vegetables & flowers, and other non-food crops. According to the official population projections of the Census of India, the population of West Bengal will be around 89.78 million in 2011 (Census of India). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the per capita physiological requirement of cereals is 396 g per day or 144 kg per annum. This, in turn, requires 490 g of production per day (to allow for waste, seed, and feed requirements) or 178 kg per annum. Thus, a population of 90 million would require 15.98 or 16 million tonnes of cereals. They postulated four alternative prospects (or scenarios) for crop diversification – or, more specifically, for the release of land for non-cereal production – in 2011. In each case below, the State meets the rice production of 16 million tonnes, which is, as discussed, the cereal requirement of the projected population in 2011.

1. If 1.25 million hectares of land on which rice is now grown were to be released for non-cereal production in 2011, an average yield of 3.61 tonnes per hectare is required to maintain food security. Rice yields must grow at 6.82 percent per annum to achieve this yield.
2. If one million hectare of land on which rice is now grown was to be released for non-cereal production in 2011, an average yield of 3.41 tonnes per hectare is required to maintain food security. Rice yields must grow at 5.65 percent per annum to achieve this yield.
3. If 500,000 hectares of land on which rice is now grown were to be released for non-cereal production in 2011, an average yield of 3.08 tonnes per hectare is required to maintain food security. Rice yields must grow at 3.53 percent per annum to achieve this yield.
4. If only 250,000 hectares of land on which rice is now grown were to be released for non-cereal production in 2011, an average yield of 2.94 tonnes per hectare is required to maintain food security. Rice yields must grow at 2.56 percent per annum to achieve this yield.

Two major conclusions emerged. First, the required yield levels are well within the capabilities of regular green revolution technology. Such yields have been achieved regularly in leading rice growing regions of the State in the past, and within the yield levels established through recent field trials. Secondly, in order to achieve the yields necessary to ensure food security and release a significant extent of land for diversification, growth rates of the rice yield in West Bengal must rise well above the record of the 1990s and 2000s. Even to release 250,000 hectares of land from rice production, the required growth rate of rice yields is 2.56 percent per annum, while actual growth rates in the 1990s and 2000s were 1.71 percent and 1.64 percent, respectively. A return to the growth surge of the 1980s, when the rate of growth of rice yields was 5.98 percent per annum, will, of course, permit the release of more than one million hectares for alternative crops by 2011.

They further created alternative district-wise scenarios in which, making certain assumptions based on current performance, one million hectares are released from rice production and an aggregate output of 16.1 million tonnes of rice may be achieved. It was assumed that rice yields of the four districts with highest yield in 2006-07 (Birbhum, Barddhaman, Malda and Hugli) will reach 3.8 tonnes per hectare in 2011-12 (that is, a level equivalent to average yields in Punjab and Karnataka); rice yields in Bankura, Nadia, North 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Purulia, West Medinipur, East Medinipur and Dakshin Dinajpur will reach 3.5 tonnes per hectare; rice yields in Uttar Dinajpur, South 24 Parganas and Haora will reach 3 million tonnes per hectare; and rice yields in the remaining districts will reach 2.5 million tonnes per hectare. If 10 percent of the total area under rice is released from the four districts with the highest yields, and 20 percent of the area under rice is released from the remaining districts, a total of 1 million hectares of land can be diverted from rice to other crops. The total production of rice will be 16.1million tonnes, an amount sufficient to meet the demand for rice in 2011-12.

9 Agricultural Plan

The Agricultural Plan (SAP) aims at projecting the physical and financial requirements for development of agriculture and allied sector of the State (NABCONS). This plan is going to present the vision for agriculture & allied sectors within the overall development perspective of the State. The major objective of State Agriculture Plan (SAP) is to consolidate and integrate all Comprehensive–District Agriculture Plans (C-DAP). It has also taken into consideration the recommendations of State Agriculture Commission. C-DAPs have been prepared based on participatory action plan for the development of agricultural & allied sectors. While preparing C-DAPs, the planning process have been initiated at grass root level, i.e. at village/ GP level. As Agriculture Plan (SAP) is the consolidated form of all C-DAPs, an integrated and participatory mode of approach is the key success factor (KSF) of the Agriculture Plan (SAP).

RKVY as a growth driver is being carried out as State Plan with 100% grant from the Government of India. Areas of focus under the RKVY are: integrated development of major food crops such as wheat, paddy, cereals, pulses, oilseeds, millets, etc.; agriculture mechanization, activities related to soil health, development of rainfed farming systems as also integrated development of watershed areas, wastelands and river valleys; support to Seed Farms; Integrated Pest Management Schemes; encouraging non-farm activities; strengthening of market infrastructure and marketing development; strengthening of infrastructure to promote extension services; activities relating to enhancement of horticultural production and popularization of micro irrigation schemes; animal husbandry and fishery development activities; special schemes for beneficiaries of land reforms; grant support to the Government Institutions that promote agriculture/ horticulture; study tour for farmers; organic and biofertilizer and other innovative schemes.

The various growth indicators required for the development of agriculture & allied sectors have been identified based on genuine felt needs of farming community, trend analysis, need assessment, environmental concerns and overall growth perspective of the State. Such growth indicators are presented below (NABCONS).

9.1 Agriculture

· Diversification and intensification of agriculture as well as improvement of productivity of all the major crops through adoption of newer and sustainable technologies, use of better inputs, adoption of organic farming
· Creation of irrigation facilities in unirrigated areas especially in western part of the State
· Diversifying the cropping pattern from rice based cropping system to bringing additional land under cultivation of millets, maize, pulses and oilseeds
· Emphasis on soil Health Management through soil testing infrastructure and adoption of a time bound strategy for soil survey and soil analysis with specific reference to the micro-nutrients and introduction of Soil Health Cards. Developing location specific and soil status specific INM practices and propagating the same among the farming community
· Promotion of Integrated Farming System model having food grain, vegetable, flower, fruit plants, medicinal plants along with cattle, duck, goat, fish etc, for maximum return
· Identification of crop specific seed production zones based on agro climate, soil and water resources availability
· Emphasizing on decentralized production of TL/certified seeds through “seed village concept” with active involvement of progressive farmers, farmers’ clubs, PACs/societies, SHGs
· Active involvement of KVKs both in production as well as extending technical support to farmers/other agencies involved in seed production
· Establishment of centralized seed processing infrastructure at potential blocks/district level
· Encouraging PPP mode in existing government seed farms for better utilization of resources
· Adoption of fully organic Bio-seed villages in each block where an integrated approach have to be taken for overall livelihood development
· Promotion of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) technology in the State in general and more specifically in Western part of the State. This can be adopted in other upland condition also and in hilly areas
· Institutional support through skill up-gradation of extension workers, farmer to farmer extension, public-private partnership, strengthening ATMA, participatory research, credit support, marketing & post-harvest management, risk management, price support system
· Convergence & synergy between State and central initiatives, role and accountability in implementing the schemes
· Improved farmers income (diversification, agricultural marketing, agro-processing and value addition, contract farming)
· Strengthening of the extension mechanism through both formal and informal channels, introduction of training and visit with assured timely supply of critical inputs at the farmers’ door step
· Promoting organic farming, large scale production and application of FYM, vermicompost, etc. to improve soil health
· Promotion of productivity enhancing and environment friendly technology through channel partners like KVKs, NGOs, Farmers Clubs, etc.
· Increase in seed replacement ratio of various crops (paddy 30%-40%, wheat 100%, mustard 16%, and potato 50%)
· Formation & strengthening of SHGs and Farmers’ Clubs
· Crop insurance to all farmers growing different types of crops



9.2 Horticulture

· Increased land coverage under horticulture crops through micro-irrigation practices
· Attaining self sufficiency in production of quality planting materials of various horticulture crops, such as vegetables, fruits and tuber crops through the programs of National Horticulture Mission
· Increased area under floriculture by encouraging cultivation of Marigold, Jasmine, Rose and Tuberose, etc.
· Development of at least one progeny orchard in each district
· Farmers in West Bengal continue to depend on other States like Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, UP for meeting seed potato requirements. Identifying potential pockets for commercial potato seed production including True Potato Seed (TPS) and strengthening seed production infrastructure are necessary. The location specific seed production technologies need to be developed and standardized. Such initiatives will open avenues for private sector investment in potato seed production
· Biotechnological interventions in vegetable breeding program particularly in characterization of diversity and tagging of novel genes and using molecular markers and development of resistant varieties
· To develop at least one model nursery in each district with advanced technologies and modern equipments
· Encouraging re-plantation of existing old tea gardens for productivity improvement at a suggestive rate of 2%. With a view to encouraging systemic re-plantation, the Tea Board has launched a new subsidy-cum-loan assistance programme under the Special Purpose Tea Fund (SPTF) constituted for the purpose
· Training in small scale processing to self-help groups and marketing of processed products by creating cooperatives at village level
· Improved management of waste land and degraded land
· Augmenting the soil & water conservation of the areas through watershed programs
· Agriculture extension services to farmers growing fruit bearing plants
· Initiation of more local research program for improvement of fruits production & productivity
· Diversification of crops by bringing more area under vegetables. Incentives for farmers in growing vegetables and link them with collective retail facilities in block and district
· Promotion of tissue culture plants of, citrus, large cardamom, banana, etc. to enhance productivity
· Introduction of varieties specifically caters to the need of processing varieties
· Creating reliable information/ database on production, procurement, processing and marketing channels for promotion of medicinal & aromatic plants ( MAPs)
· Addressing the problem of inadequacies in input supply including plant material, technical/ extension support for MAPs
· Strengthening the extension network through recruitment of more field functionaries in potential districts. The initial emphasis could be in the focus districts identified under NHM
· Promote informal extension channels like Farmers’ Clubs, Farmers’ Interest Groups and educated/ progressive youth and training them as technology transfer agents with active involvement of both formal (department) and informal (NGOs, Farmers’ Clubs) extension agencies
· Innovations like Prani Bandhu scheme, which is a proven success in the development of AH/ Dairy sector to be replicated in Horticulture/ Agriculture sectors as well – like Krishi Bandhu
· Nursery being a highly viable activity, there exists a very good scope for promotion of private nurseries for production of perennial horticultural crops especially in districts like Malda, Murshidabad. The programme can be dovetailed with the LoI scheme of NHB or NHM in consultation with the Department concerned for the benefit of prospective entrepreneurs
· Well equipped Soil testing facilities at district and block level for comprehensive soil analysis and introduction of soil health card based Integrated Nutrient Management
· Establishment of Farmer markets to remove middle men in the vegetable trade
· Encouraging agro-processing and value addition to agricultural and horticultural products
· Strengthening of post-harvest handling and marketing mechanisms and infrastructure for storage and timely supply to the markets
· Investment in developing cold chains and encouraging retail marketing organizations
· Assessment of credit needs (activity specific and crop specific) and preparation of credit plans and dovetailing the same with the District Credit Plans followed by a Coordinated approach to operationalize the credit plans, necessary
· The “Producer (farmer) – Consumer markets” (Farmers’ markets) introduced in some States like AP, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were found to be successful and beneficial to both farmers and consumers. The Government may consider introducing the concept in the especially in major vegetable producing and consuming centers
· Being a major producer of vegetables, the Government could consider establishing exclusive auction centers for fruits and vegetables on the lines of “NDDB Model” (Bangalore)
· Suitable modification of the present Agricultural Produce Market Act to facilitate the private sectors taking initiatives in setting up modern market infrastructure involving high investment, entrepreneurial skills and managerial capacities as well as direct purchase from farmers

9.3 Watershed development & soil conservation

· In the context of soil and water conservation, most vulnerable areas are the lateritic tracts of western districts (Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum and Paschim Medinipur), the hilly areas of Darjeeling district, coarse sandy areas of Tarai region in Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, Darjeeling districts, and coastal saline zone comprising of 24-Parganas (North) and 24-Parganas (South) districts
· Out of the total reported area of 86.84 lakh ha in West Bengal, 22.14 lakh ha constituting nearly 25% is affected by different problems associated with land degradation. Development of these areas possible through soil and water conservation measures by adopting watershed approach
· NABARD is implementing watershed development through a fund called ‘Watershed Development Fund (WDF)’. The unique feature of WDF in West Bengal is that the Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs) are Panchayat Samities, and the role of NGOs is to facilitate the programme by mobilising the people. A total of 28129 ha under 38 watershed projects, has been covered so far. Govt. may come out with a massive programme, on the lines of WDF, to bring the degraded lands into farming
· The new technologies like 30:40 models (30’x40’ plots with seepage pits) and 5% model
· for midlands falling in western plateau and hills region, Small Water Harvesting Structure with water supply pipe in hills in cardamom plantations and vegetable cultivated areas of Darjeeling hills, may be popularized
· Awareness should be created among farming community about the usefulness of soil and water conservation measures on the soil fertility, improvement in soil productivity, possible ground water recharge and availability of soil moisture for the better growth of crops

9.4 Forestry

· Encourage farmers to use wasteland for growing forestry species like Neem, Karanja, jatropha, etc.
· Awareness may be created among the tribal communities for soil conservation measures for protection of forest
· Protection of forest by empowering local community through Joint Forest Management (JFM)
· Effective implementation of compensatory plantation activities with local participation and micro-planning
· Effective implementation of regular forest management/ silvicultural activities with community involvement
· Improvement of eco-tourism facilities and identification of new sites of tourist attraction
· Minimization of diversion of forest land with local support
· Active involvement of citizen’s groups and NGOs in pollution control measures
· Enforcement of comprehensive environmental impact assessment prior to establishment/ opening of new industries/ mines
· Ensuring solid waste management and hospital waste management

9.5 Agricultural marketing

· Allowing establishment of private markets by making suitable amendment to APMC Act, in line with the model Act prepared by Govt. of India
· Encouraging contract farming in the State
· Establishing cold storages, refrigerated vans for agricultural product marketing both under public and private sector
· Facilitating SHGs, cooperatives, Farmers Association, Producers Group for organized marketing
· Establishing market linkages and market networking for the high value products
· Establishment of Central Zonal Markets (6 nos) with export oriented quality control facility
· Regulated market with all information related to crop production and animal welfare services
· Specialized regulated market with training facility on post-harvest technology and informations about prices of different commodity in different market using ICT services
· Should create provision and identify diversified post-harvest products for marketing through organized retail chain of SHGs, cooperatives

10 Target, production and productivity

An analysis of the periodical data up to 2011-12 (projected) reflects that the area coverage under rice is expected to increase by 2%, while the productivity is expected to go up by 17% at the end of 11th FYP over that of 2007- 08. Special thrust needs to be given for cultivation of pulses as the State is deficit in production of pulses. With focused attention, the area coverage under pulses is targeted to be increased by 6%, while the productivity and production are expected to be increased by 21% and 29%, respectively. Diversifying the cropping pattern in the State by bringing additional land under cultivation of oil seeds is also required as like pulses, there is mismatch in the demand-supply in oil seeds. The area is projected to be increased by 8% with commensurate enhancement of the productivity by 21%. Sugarcane is another cash crop needing push. Accordingly, the 50% increase in area is envisaged with increased yield by 7%. Production of potato is expected to increase from 80.18 lakh tones to 118.47 lakh tones by the end of 11th FYP.

11 Principal thrust areas

Ø Population and population growth rate in coming year in West Bengal is going to put pressure on the available land. Low land: man ratio may hamper the process of development. Population of West Bengal is going to be 9.14 crore at the end of 2011-12 and 10.16 crore at the end of 2019-20 (growth projection @1.33 % compounded annually)
Ø Nutritional Requirement: Per day requirement of nutrition especially BPL category people is not meeting the requirement. Employment situation is getting worse, food grain consumption and cloth consumption were falling, average calorie intake as well as protein intake showed decline and there was considerable agrarian distress
Ø Climate Change and its effect on agriculture - Climate change, while taking place at a time of increasing demand for food, feed, fibre and fuel has the potential to irreversibly damage the natural resource base on which agriculture depends and also our entire livelihood. The relationship between climate change and agriculture is a two way process - agriculture contributes to climate change in several ways and climate change in general adversely affects agriculture. Climate change is affecting the distribution of plants, invasive species, pests, and disease vector and the geographic range, at the same time incidence of many human, animal and plant diseases is likely to increase
Ø Soil heath is going to deteriorate first unless urgent attention is paid. At present 25% land (out of net sown area) in West Bengal is falling under degraded quality. Fertility status of the soil is falling very sharply because of injudicious and imbalanced use of chemical inputs in all over the State. Shortage of water for agriculture is on the card and nothing much have been done on rainwater harvesting
Ø Employment scenario in rural areas - rural employment and more importantly employability of the rural youth has to increase because 60% of State’s population is less than 30 years of age
Ø Socio–economic condition of the farmers is not satisfactory because of low per capita income and not so developed rural infrastructure. Farmers are required to be associated with value addition process of their produce and claim a more share of the value chain to improve their present socio-economic condition
Ø Present production and productivity status of different crops and vegetables needs improvement
Ø Present position of post-harvest technology of crops and value addition is not up to the mark in comparison to any developed country. Only 3% of fruits and vegetables have been processed in our State what should be at least 30%. So there is huge scope for improvement. This will not only boost the economy of the farmers but also will create large employment opportunity for the rural youth through small and medium scale industries in the strategic areas having sufficient production potential of the crops coupled with adequate transport and marketing facility
Ø Infrastructure development through programs like RIDF, ADMI, etc.
Ø Ongoing programs of respective departments need an integrated and well coordinated approach among the line departments, otherwise repetition of efforts ends up with wastage of money and energy

12 Extension services

It is important to disseminate information about new technologies so that the farmer is able to make use of the latest agricultural developments. There also exists a gap between research findings and the needs of farmers. For technology to be successful, it is important that it should serve a useful purpose to the end user. The Agricultural Extension Service works through an Agricultural Research System in the States. The main objective of Agriculture Extension Services or AES's is to transmit latest technical know-how to farmers. Besides this, the AESs also focuses on enhancing farmers' knowledge about crop techniques and helping them to increase productivity. This is done through training courses, farm visits, on-farm trials, kisan melas, kisan clubs, advisory bulletins, etc.

The arrangements for agricultural extension in India have grown, over the last five decades, in terms of activities, organizational types, and available manpower. Public sector extension, represented mainly by the Department of Agriculture (DOA), continues to be the most important source of information for the majority of farmers. Activities of other extension agencies, be it Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), input agencies, mass media, research institutions or farmers associations, though increasing, are still restricted to certain regions, crops and enterprises. The performance of public sector extension is under scrutiny for quite some time and questions are being raised on its capability to deliver goods in the rapidly changing environment. The shifting emphasis of Indian agriculture towards diversification, commercialization, sustainability and efficiency has made it necessary for the extension organizations to critically examine their extension approaches.

In the State of West Bengal, which is mainly agrarian with predominance of small and marginal farmers, extension support through institutions is more crucial, especially in the context of commercialization of agriculture. The Department of Agriculture, headed by the Director of Agriculture is responsible for implementation of Government policies related to agriculture extension in the State. Additional Directors of Agriculture (ADAs) and Joint Directors of Agriculture (JDAs) are heading the agricultural extension work at State level and Range (the State has been divided into seven ranges) level, respectively. The Deputy Director of Agriculture, Administration formerly known as Principal Agriculture Officer (PAO) is the nodal authority at district level extension works. Each subdivision has a Sub-divisional Agricultural Officer (SAO) assisted by subject matter specialists to channelize the agricultural extension services in the subdivision. The block level extension works are carried out by Agricultural Development Officer (ADO). At the Panchayat level, the Krishi Proyukti Sahayaks (KPSs) are attached to help the ADO to maintain close contact with the farming community at their respective operational areas.

Commodity Research Centres (rice, oilseeds and pulses, sugarcane, potato, wheat) and Dry and Crop Research Centers (maize, ragi) were set up to carry out research on these essential food items with Zonal and Sub-divisional level sub centres for multi-locational testing of the research findings before recommending for adoption by the farming community. Seventeen (ten static and seven mobile) Soil Testing Laboratories, three Fertilizer Quality Control Laboratories, one Pesticide Quality Control Laboratory, one Seed Testing Laboratory and one Bio-Pesticide Quality Control Laboratory are operating in the State to provide agricultural extension services to the farmers. The other extension services provided by the department include:-

· Dissemination of information on modern agricultural practices through publications and handouts for the benefit of literate farmers as well as through mass media;
· Organizing exhibitions, field demonstrations, seminars, group meetings, etc.;
· Training and capacity building of farmers through nine Agricultural Training Centres (ATC) functioning in the State;
· Production and supply of quality agricultural inputs especially seeds, fertilizers and pesticides;
· Pest and disease surveillance and on-site advisory work.

Some of the recent initiatives of the Government of West Bengal are:

Ø Task Force of Secretaries on West Bengal Agriculture Commission
Ø Secondary freight subsidy for fertilizer mobility and SWAN connectivity for ADOs
Ø Extension Services through Jeebika Sahayaks (Livelihood Associates)
Ø Agriculture related services through NeGP and Agrinet
Ø Training programme for fertilizer dealers and retailers in association with FAI
Ø Focus on Agriculture and Allied sectors through ATMA

Based on experience at the grass root level following should be the thrust areas in general, besides location specific issues that need to be clearly sorted out and addressed.

Linkages among all line departments with KVK and extension centres of institutes are to be strengthened in every aspect.
Small/ marginal/ women farmers groups in particular are to be given chief focus since they are most vulnerable.
The Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) approach has created significant impact on yields and incomes of farmers. The various schemes and adequate funds are to be made available to large number of small/ marginal and women farmers. A mechanism is needed to be developed through which these groups of farmers could be kept well informed about the schemes and funds for their benefaction.
Market-led Extension which would enable the farmer to realize better prices for their farm produce and maximize the farm incomes be promoted.
Farmer-to-farmer approach needs to be encouraged through Farm schools and Farmer Field Schools. Services of innovative and progressive farmers should be utilized as para professionals at field level.
Research-Extension-Farmer and Market Linkages demand greater focus.
Diversified and Integrated farming system approach need to be emphasized with the research and extension agenda determined explicitly by farmers’ needs through an understanding of the existing farming systems.
Public–Private Partnership needs to be promoted for sharing of resources and convergence. To promote private investment in Agricultural Extension, it is felt essential to provide fiscal incentives.
Ongoing schemes like ATMA, RKVY, MGNREGS, NFSM, NHM, GMFC, etc. are to be strengthened and up-scaled as well. Moreover, other technology development related schemes like technology missions, AICRPs, NAIPs, etc. are to be designed on farmers’ need base.
Farmers’ organizations and their federations would be promoted for sustaining the developmental efforts.
Tribal development programmes need to be taken in frontier areas.
Village based facilitation and Marketing Center will be promoted for women groups engaged in agribusiness.
Dedicated media like TV channel, radio station, news papers on agriculture are suggested to focus on location specific problems of farmers.
Various information and communication technology (ICT) tools like agro-met service, market information, disease/ pest forecasting are to be developed.
Major sources of farm information in agriculture, like extension scientists of KVK and institutes, input dealers, etc. are to be supported to pursue HRD courses in Agricultural Extension Services.
Concluding remarks

West Bengal agriculture is a story, generally speaking, of one of plenty particularly in terms of natural resources backed with extraordinarily rich heritage and experience of the farming community. All said and even possibly done as per suggestions above might pave the way for at the most meeting production targets and improving the socio-economy of the farmers in short spans. What, I would like to indicate, as possibly not in the focus of the planners so far, are objectivity in defining targets in long term perspectives especially on the following areas (a) making sure agricultural average land holding per capita (with due consideration of increasing population growth with time) for each category of farmers does not decrease below a minimal value over time, (b) assigning sufficient thrust on value addition in agriculture and allied sectors holding significant promise not only to improve farm economy but also the overall economy in the respective areas through large scope for employment generation, (c) roping in small or medium scale entrepreneurs for public-private initiative (with local youths getting highest priority for engagement) for increasing the farm economy through contract farming, farmers-markets linkage (preferably through farmers’ cooperatives getting rid of middlemen as far as possible possibly in phases), processing of food and non-food sector industries. The complacency of being amongst the top few States in certain years in terms of productivity or production in specific areas per se is, to my mind, a serious hindrance to successful and professional planning for the future. I am particularly apprehensive of this, in the wake of WTO regime becoming fully functional in the country shortly, that the farmers of the State, where the farming economy is already moving downslope, are most likely to confront with much stiffer competition with international marketing agencies for which a host of measures needs to be adopted to safeguard the interest of the farmers. The usual role of the government and high level of performance of the farmers notwithstanding, it will be a credible performance if a tough scientific approach is followed considering agriculture and allied sectors offering lucrative proposition as the biggest industry to give a significant fillip to the rural economy and its obvious beneficial impact on social fabric for which the government and private sectors have to go hand in hand.

Literatures consulted

Banerjee Abhijit, V., Gertler Paul, J. and Ghatak Maitreesh (2002). Empowerment and efficiency: tenancy reform in West Bengal, Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 110(2), pp. 238-280.

Bardhan Pranab and Mookherjee Dilip (2007). Land Reform and Farm Productivity in West Bengal, 58p. (http://ipl.econ.duke.edu/bread/papers/0704conf/bread0704_bardhan_mookherjee.
pdf)

Ghosh, B.K. (2010). Growth and variability in the production of crops in West Bengal agriculture, Trends in Agricultural Economics, Vol. 3, pp.135-146.
Gupta Asok. Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal, 4p. (http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/West_Bengal-Sri_Asok_Gupta.pdf)
Hanstad Tim and Brown Jennifer (2001). Land Reform Law and Implementation in West Bengal: Lessons and Recommendations, RDI Reports on Foreign Aid and Development #112, Rural Development Institute, Washington, USA, 14p.

Khan Jabir Hasan, Shamshad and Hassan Tarique. Agricultural Productivity and Levels of Development in West Bengal, Aligarh Muslim University, 20p. (http://www.hrit.ac.in/book%20vol3.2l.pdf)

Maity, B. and Chatterjee, B. (2006). Impact of modern technology on foodgrain production in West Bengal: an econometric analysis, Indian Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 38(2), 96p.

NABCONS (NABARD Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd). State Agriculture Plan for West Bengal, India, 249p. (http://rkvy.nic.in/SAP/WB/WB.PDF)


Ramachandran, V.K., Madhura Swaminathan and Bakshi Aparajita. Food Security and Crop Diversification: Can West Bengal Achieve Both Simultaneously? 9p. (http://www.agrarianstudies.org/UserFiles/File/6-Ramachandran_et_al%20_Food_Security_and_Crop_Diversification...pdf)

Ranganathan, V. (2003). World Bank and India‟s economic development, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 38(3), pp. 236-241.

Swaminathan, M.S. (2009), Drought management for rural livelihood security, The Hindu, 17 August, pp.12.

Timmer Peter (1988). The Agricultural Transformation, in H. Chenery and T. N. Srinivasan, (eds.), Handbook of Development Economics, Vol. 1, Elseveir, Amsterdam, pp. 275-331.
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