Agriculture

 

 

Meghalaya is basically an Agricultural State with about 80% of its total population depending entirely on Agriculture for their livelihood.
 

In Meghalaya, summer is for a period of about 5 months, from May to September, with torrential rains caused by the South West Monsoon. Rainfall varies from place to place and from altitude to altitude. The amount of rainfall over Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram is quite heavy. Nature in its generous abundance, has bestowed Meghalaya a unique array of vegetation ranging from tropical and sub-tropical to temperate or near temperate.
 

The total cropped area in the State has increased by about 42 per cent during the last twenty-five years. Food grain production sector covers an area of over 60 per cent of the total crop area. With the introduction of different crops of high yielding varieties in the mid-seventies, remarkable increase in food grain production has been made. A major break through was achieved when High Yielding Varieties of paddy such as Masuri, Pankaj IR 8 and other improved varieties series especially IR 36 which is suitable for Rabi season, fitting in the multi-cropping system have been widely cultivated all over the feasible areas of the State. A spectacular achievement was obtained when Megha I and Megha II which are cold tolerant rice varieties developed by the ICAR North East Region at Umroi near Shillong was released in 1991-92 for the higher altitude regions where there was no High Yielding Rice varieties at all earlier.
 

Besides the major food crops of Rice and Maize, the State is also renowned for its Horticultural crops like Orange, Lemon, Pineapple, Guava, Litchi, Banana, Jack Fruits and Temperate fruits such as Plum, Pear, Peach etc.
 

Potato, Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Arecanut, Tezpata, Betelvine, Short-staple cotton, Jute, Mesta, Mustard and Rapseed etc. are some of the important cash crops in the State.
 

Apart from the above the State have achieved signal success in the cultivation of non-traditional crops like Tea, Cashewnut, Oilseeds, Tomato, Mushroom, Wheat, etc.