Agriculture is the principal occupation of majority of the rural population in the state in terms of employment and livelihood. Agriculture sector continues to providing employment of more than 50 percent of the total workforce and support more than 75 percent population of the State directly or indirectly. The contribution of Agriculture Sector towards State economy registered gradual fall [GSDP at constant (2004-05) prices] during the period 2005-06 to 2014-15. The trend of growth of Agriculture Sector, on the other hand, was erratic [GSDP (at constant 2004-05 prices)] during the same period.


The net cultivated area of the State is 28.11 lakh hectares (2011-12) which is about 87.4 percent of the total land available for agricultural cultivation in the State. According to the Agricultural Census, Assam, 2010-11, the average operational holding is 1.10 hectare only and more than 85 percent of the farmer family is small and marginal farmers with average land holding of only 0.63 hectare but in a scattered manner.


The soil, topography, rainfall and climate in general are conducive for an agricultural activity mainly for paddy cultivation in Assam and therefore concentration is high on paddy production both for farmers and the State Agriculture Department. As per final estimates, the total area under paddy cultivation during the year 2013-14 was 25.13 lakh hectare or 92.2 percent of the total area under food grains in the State. The area covered under paddy cultivation was 0.15 lakh hectare more during the year 2013-14 over 2012-13. The Paddy cultivation, during the year 2013- 14 occupies 89.0 percent of the net cropped area and 60.0 percent of the gross cropped area in the State. The area coverage under Pulses and Oilseeds in 2013-14 as per final estimates has been expected to increase to the level of 1.50 lakh and 3.25 lakh hectares respectively compared to 1.42 lakh hectares and 3.05 lakh hectares respectively in 2012-13. Analysis of area under pulses and Oilseeds reveal that the area under Pulses and oilseeds has been gradually increasing. In respect of pulses, the area under cultivation has increased from 1.00 lakh hectares in 2005-06 to 1.50 lakh hectares in 2013-14 and the area under Oilseeds recorded increase from 2.53 lakh hectares in 2008-09 to 3.25 lakh hectares in 2013-14.


As per final estimates, total food grains production in the State was 54.02 lakh MT in 2013-14 compared to 52.79 lakh MT in 2012-13. Total food production in the State was 2.33 percent more during the year 2013-14 compared to the previous year’s production. During the year 2011-12, total production of food grains in the State was 48.57 lakh MT. It is pertinent to note that the total foodgrains production in the State was the highest in 2013-14 compared to last twelve years.


The total production of Rice in the State was 51.93 MT in 2013-14 compared to 51.28 lakh MT in 2012-13. Total production of rice in the State, thus, marginally 1.27 percent more during 2013-14 compared to previous year production despite overall rainfall in the State was (-) 24.0 percent deviated from normal during the kharif season.


The production of total Pulses reported 5.1 percent increase with 0.88 lakh MT in 2013-14 compared to 0.84 lakh MT in 2012-13. This increasing trend of production of total Pulses continued since 2005-06. The total Oilseeds production, on the other hand, recorded slight decrease during 2013-14 compared to previous year’s production. The production of oilseeds in the State was affected by due to overall “deficient” rainfall experienced by the State during the Rabi season.