An Analysis on the Transition from Wetland Agriculture in Assam, Northeast India: Is it Environmentally Sustainable?

IJEP 44(2): 99-111 : Vol. 44 Issue. 2 (February 2024)

Nazneen Ara Hoque1* and Saddam Hussain2

1. Damdama College (Affiliated to Gauhati University), Department of Economics, Kulhati, Hajo – 781 104, Assam, India
2. North Eastern Hill University, Department of Economics, Shillong – 793 022, Meghalaya, India


The world’s most productive ecosystems are wetlands, which help humans in a variety of ways. Among them is agriculture. As they offer rich soils and a plentiful quantity of water, even during winter, people throughout the globe find it convenient to engage themselves in agricultural activities. The characteristics of wetlands can vary from country to country, region to region and so, thus their reliance differs in terms of wetland agriculture. This diversity is thus investigated by a case study conducted in Deepor Beel, Assam (the only Ramsar site in Assam). The CACP concept (CACP Department of Agriculture and collaboration, 2011-12) was used to calculate crop contribution to provide an insight into wetland agriculture dependency. Overall, statistics showed that paddy does not lead the farmers to a profitable situation rather it shows high cost of production. Further, it was discovered that the majority of the farmers in the area had already started switching to other livelihood options. Therefore, later part of the investigation tries to closely examine the factors influencing the farmers to shift their occupational activities through binary probit model. This paper finds positives and negatives of withdrawal from cultivation. The positive side reflects reduced pressure from the wetland, in contrast, lack of sustainable management is making the farmers suffer more, especially those whose only livelihood option is cultivation.


Wetland, Ecosystem, Agriculture, Paddy, Cost of cultivation, Deepor Beel


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