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West Bengal is predominantly an agrarian State. Comprising of only 2.7% of India's geographical area, it supports nearly 8% of its population. There are 71.23 lakh farm families of whom 96% are small and marginal farmers. The average size of land holding is only 0.77 ha. However, the State is bestowed with diverse natural resources and varied agro-climatic conditions which support cultivation of a wide range of crops.

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The net cropped area is 52.05 lakh ha which comprises 68% of the geographical area and 92% of arable land. The cropping intensity is 184%. However, as the State is located in the humid tropic and the Bay of Bengal is close by, it has to often face vagaries of nature like flood, cyclone, hailstorm etc. Though the State has a surplus production of rice, vegetables and potato, a huge gap exists between the requirement and production of pulses, oilseeds and maize. Deterioration of soil health due to imbalance in the use of chemical fertilizers, paucity of suitable improved varieties of seed, inadequate farm mechanization, unorganized marketing structure etc. are major challenges to agricultural growth. 

The Vision Of Agricultural Development
In spite of the above challenges, Agriculture has been the way of life and continues to be the single most important livelihood of the rural masses in West Bengal. So, the Agriculture Department, Government of West Bengal, is working in a mission mode for development of Agriculture and Allied sector in a holistic manner with the vision of "Doubling farmers' income by 2020 by ensuring farmers' access to Skills, Technologies, Markets and Financial inclusion". 

The State Agricultural Plan for the XII FYP embodies the following objectives to fulfill this vision:

  • to ensure Quantifiable improvement in Production & Productivity
  • to Reduce yield gap with focused interventions
  • to maximize returns to the farmers from Agriculture & Allied sector
  • to Augment Marketing interventions and export promotion
  • to Promote Competitiveness in Agriculture and Allied Sector 
  • to meet the challenges of Climate change and evolve mechanisms for effective drought and flood management.

Moving Forward:
The Agriculture Department is working closely with the agro-allied departments viz. Animal Resources Development, Fisheries, Agricultural Marketing,Horticulture,Cooperation, Water Resources Investigation Development, Irrigation & Waterways, Forest, Sericulture, Food & Supplies and WBCADC under the P&RD Department to achieve the above objectives. During the recent years, the focus has been on helping small and marginal farmers in their endeavor to get better returns from farming through an improved package of practices, quality inputs, crop diversification, front-endedsubsidy for farm mechanization, augmenting irrigation facilities through water conservation and watershed management and by providing market intelligence; the betterment of farmers belonging to SC, ST and backward classes; empowerment of women in agriculture; fostering Public Private Partnership involving the FPOs and NGOs etc. The Department has also launched an ICT based agriextension portal, MATIR KATHA ( which provides a dynamic platform to disseminate crop solution to farmers at farm-gate level.


Sri Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay

Address: Nabanna,
3rd Floor, 325 Sarat Chatterjee Road,
Mandirtala, Shibpur, Howrah - 711102
Phone: 2214-1778, 2253-5181
Fax: 2214-5757

Principal Secretary

Sri Onkar Singh Meena, IAS

Address: Nabanna, 3rd Floor,
325 Sarat Chatterjee Road,
Mandirtala, Shibpur, Howrah - 711102
Phone: 2253-5124,2250-1057
Fax: 2214-3045

Nodal Officer

Sri Hrishikes Mudi, Special Secretary

Address: Nabanna,
3rd Floor, 325 Sarat Chatterjee Road,
Mandirtala, Shibpur, Howrah - 711102
Phone: 2253 5439
Fax: 2214-1934

Last updated on: Sunday, 31 December 2023
Information Source: Department of Agriculture, Government of West Bengal
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