Overview of the Department:
The Agriculture Department, Assam was created in April, 1882. The Department was then engaged in conducting crop cutting experiments on winter rice, mustard and sugarcane. The crop cutting experiments were then called agricultural experiments. The reason of conducting crop cutting experiments was to assess productiveness of land to prepare assessment proposals during settlement. There was no agricultural expert in the Department till 1897.
In 1893, an Agricultural Conference was held in Simla. In accordance with the recommendations of this conference, Government of India deputed Sir E. Buck to Assam in 1895 to discuss with Assam Government about the recommendations.
Sir E. Buck advocated appointment of an Agricultural Expert to (1) ascertain agricultural defects and (2) introduce agricultural improvements. In the year 1897, Mr. B. C. Basu a Deputy Collector of Bengal and a graduate of an Agricultural College in England was appointed as Assistant Director.
Although Assam was a separate province it was amalgamated with Eastern Bengal in 1905. In the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam the Agriculture Department was separated in 1907 form the combined Department of Land Records and Agriculture. After the creation of a separate Department, expansion of the Department took place quickly. Assam became a separate province again in 1912 when the Agriculture Department was again combined with that of Land Records and continued up to 1922. In 1923 three allied Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Industries were combined
The main functions & responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture are
1. Formulation and implementation of policies and programmes aimed at achieving rapid agricultural growth through optimum utilization of land, water, soil and plant resources of the State. the farming community through agricultural extension services.
2. Implementation of beneficiary oriented schemes for economics upliftment of farming community.
3. Establishing farmer-department coordination in implementing and providing technological know-how to the farming community through agricultural extension services.
4. Undertaking all possible measures to ensure timely and adequate supply of quality inputs and services such as fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, agricultural implements, etc.
5. Creating assured irrigation facilities to the farmers through minor irrigation schemes so as to obtain maximum returns from their land.
6. Popularizing the use of farmer's friendly bio-fertilizers.
7. Motivating farmers to minimize the use of pesticides and to control the environmental pollution with adoption of Integrated Pest Management.
8. Motivating farmers for diversification of areas from traditional crops to commercial crops.
9. Monitoring soil health and testing of nutrient level of soil samples collected from farmers fields across the State.
10.Educating farmers on soil and water conservation technologies through implementation of Watershed Projects.
11.Undertaking measures to provide agricultural credit, crop insurance and helps the farmers in getting remunerative returns for their produce.
12.Implementing calamity (like flood, drought etc.) relief programmes.
13.Conducting surveys for collection and maintenance of a wide range of statistical and economic data relating to agriculture, required for development planning.
14.Helping farmers through use of ICT applications.
15.Economic empowerment of women.
16.Removal of rural poverty.
17.Improvement of nutritional standards and quality of life of the rural people.