4 Jan 2024 : PIB 

1. Development of Agriculture-Horticulture Sector in North Eastern Region.

Topic: GS3 – Agriculture – Storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce

UPSC relevance: Boosts North East agriculture, FPO formation, and bamboo development, showcasing regional economic growth and government initiatives.

  • NERAMAC procured 140+ MT of diverse produce under ‘NE Fresh’ and launched ‘NERAMAC Premium’ for G.I. tagged items.
  • The Ministry formed 205 FPOs. NECBDC planted 900 hectares, trained 463 in cane and bamboo, and inaugurated a Nagaland craft center.

Fostering Growth: Agriculture in North-East India


  • Abundant natural resources:Fertile soils, diverse climate, and ample rainfall offer immense potential for crop cultivation and diversification.
  • Organic farming hub:Growing consumer demand for organic produce positions the region as a prime producer, supporting sustainable practices and higher returns.
  • Unexploited horticultural wealth:Vast scope for expanding fruit, vegetable, and floriculture production, catering to local and national markets.
  • Bamboo bonanza:Leveraging the abundant bamboo resources for handicrafts, construction, and biofuel opens doors for rural entrepreneurship and income generation.
  • Agro-processing potential:Establishing food processing units near farms reduces wastage, adds value to produce, and creates job opportunities.


  • Fragmented landholdings:Small, scattered landholdings hinder mechanization, irrigation, and efficient farming practices.
  • Limited infrastructure: Inadequate storage facilities, poor market access, and lack of cold chain infrastructure lead to post-harvest losses.
  • Connectivity constraints:Weak transportation networks make it difficult to transport agricultural produce to markets, impacting marketability.
  • Climate change vulnerability: Erratic rainfall patterns, floods, and droughts pose significant risks to crop production and farmer livelihoods.
  • Skill gap and resource limitations:Limited access to knowledge, technology, and financial resources hinder adoption of modern farming practices.

Way Forward:

  • Land consolidation and cooperative farming:Encourage farmers to pool their land for efficient utilization of resources and economies of scale.
  • Invest in infrastructure:Develop storage facilities, improve market access roads, and establish cold chain infrastructure to minimize post-harvest losses.
  • Promote value addition: Foster agro-processing units and cottage industries to add value to agricultural produce and create local employment.
  • Climate-resilient agriculture:Introduce drought-resistant varieties, promote water conservation practices, and build early warning systems for extreme weather events.
  • Capacity building and knowledge sharing:Provide farmers with access to training, extension services, and new technologies to improve productivity and sustainability.
  • Market linkages and branding:Facilitate farmer producer organizations (FPOs) to connect directly with markets, promote branding of unique regional products, and ensure fair prices for farmers.


  • By addressing these challenges and capitalizing on its immense potential, North-East India can transform its agricultural landscape, ensuring food security, economic growth, and improved livelihoods for its people.
Practice Question: Critically analyze the untapped potential of agriculture in North-East India, highlighting both its unique prospects and the critical challenges impeding its development. Suggest concrete policy interventions to overcome these challenges and unlock the region’s agricultural potential. (250 words/15 m)

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