Agriculture in North-East India: Past and Present

  • K. R. Dikshit
  • Jutta K. Dikshit
Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)


Agriculturally, North-East India lies in the Southeast Asia rice domain. Rice is the principal food crop. Besides, the region, especially Assam, is famous for tea. New plantation crops that have entered the area are rubber and several varieties of tropical and temperate fruits. The most traditional tree crop that is grown in homesteads, and not in commercially organised plantations, is areca nut. The region, however, does not have much cultivable land, which is confined to the two alluvial valleys of Assam. Only 16 % of the area of the region is under cultivation, and the total cropped area including area under multiple cropping doesn’t exceed 22 %. Rice, the major crop, claims over 85 % of the cropped area. The region is known for ‘slash and burn’ type of shifting cultivation, locally known as jhuming. About 12 % of the net sown area is under shifting cultivation, and over 400,000 families are still engaged in this kind of farming. Lately, the land under shifting cultivation is being brought under horticulture. Besides rice, other important crops in the region are pulses and maize. Rubber plantation is becoming a popular commercial plantation in Tripura. Agriculture, in the region, suffers from low productivity, and floods frequently damage even better crops. The average yield of rice for the region is around 1,600 kg/ha, though in Manipur the rice yields are higher and linger around 2,400 kg/ha. Tea plantation is the principal plantation crop of the region. The region has over 30,000 large and small tea estates, occupying roughly 280,000 ha of land. Over 95 % of the area of the region under tea is in Assam, centred largely in Darrang; Lakhimpur, on the north bank; and Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar and Jorhat on the southern bank of Brahmaputra.


Hilly Area Rubber Plantation Hilly State Summer Rice Small Millet 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. R. Dikshit
    • 1
  • Jutta K. Dikshit
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PunePuneIndia

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