Rice-wheat farming systems have identified the economic benefits of zero tillage farming and it covers about 80 per cent of the food requirement and about 60 per cent of the nutritional requirement of the Indian population.

The global economy has faced two serious but unconnected crises in quick succession during the past four years. The years 2007 and 2008 witnessed an unprecedented rise in food prices which forced the global community to pay more attention to the agricultural sector.

The unique ecological entity and topographical diversities are the exclusive characteristics of the hill and mountain regions in India. The distinctive socio-economic features, ethnicity, climatic variability and human activities, seprate the hill and mountain ecosystem from the rest.

Agriculture in the north-eastern region of India has considerable potential to grow and contribute to the overall economic growth and livelihood of the rural population. The climate is favourable to grow a wide variety of crops, particularly fruits, vegetables and spices.

Hill agriculture in India is confronted with the problem of uneven topography, soil erosion, small landholdings, inaccessibility with poor road infrastructure and opportunities of fertile land, high and dependable precipitation in the form of rain, snow and an agriculture friendly climate that can be the best bet for the development of watershed development programmes on a large scale.

Modern agriculture based on high yielding seeds, chemical using production and protection technologies and intensive use of natural resources paid rich dividends by bringing manifold increase in foodgrain productivity and production, enhancing farmers' income, reducing poverty and contributing significantly towards attainment of food self-sufficiency at the national level.

Soil and water are two very scarce important natural resources without which crop production is not possible. Soil degradation due to erosion and the depletion of ground water resources are the two major environmental problems threatening agricultual production and productivity in the riverine belt of Assam.

There seems to be a close linkage between conservation agriculture (CA) and the drip method of irrigation used for crop cultivation, but somehow it has not been explicitly highlighted in the literature on conservation agriculture. Drip method of irrigation was primarily introduced as a water conserving technology.

The early nineties saw a substantial overhauling of the Indian economy through Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), which encompassed a number of measures, viz., liberalisation of export-import policy, drastic lowering of import duties on many products, removal of import restrictions, reduction of investment in the agricultural and industrial sectors so as to allow the private sector to take

The Indian economy has been affected by global recession mainly through the external sector. Agriculture is however not fully integrated with the external sector so far. But still it has made inroads into the external market especially in some selected commodities.

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