The Eastern states hold critical importance in generating second green revolution in the country. During the first green revolution period, the East was largely untouched. The eastern India comprising seven States namely; Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal with 30% of gross cropped area contributes to 40% of food grains production. Rice is the main crop of the region and the area is mainly depending on well- irrigation and rain for water.
Fertility of land is high and there are abundant water resources in East. The Eastern states/areas account for 61per cent of total available groundwater in the country. Land is less intensively used in Eastern states. But still, productivity in various crops lags behind the national average. One major reason is for inconsistent production is that farming in this region is predominantly rain dependent. Irrigation potential has to be expanded in Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa, where there is abundant surface water and underutilized groundwater.
In recent years, the government has made several initiatives to bring green revolution in Eastern region. A programme called ‘Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI)’, under RKVY in 2010-11 to promote “rice based cropping systems” in eastern India. Later, this programme is merged with Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. The programme is implemented in 121 identified districts which are not covered under National Food Security Mission Rice and Wheat. Following are the main objectives.
- Harness the water potential for enhancing agriculture production in Eastern India which was hitherto underutilized.
- Yield maximization of rice and wheat per unit area by improving agronomy, Water harvesting and conservation; and Water utilization (recycling of conserved water – surface water as well as groundwater).
- Promotion of recommended agriculture technologies and package of practices by addressing the underlying constraints.