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Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Department
Department / Office Profile

Agriculture is the main occupation of the people of Meghalaya. Of the total agricultural land in Meghalaya, 62% is used for food grains, 25% for cash crops, 9% for horticultural crops and the rest 4% is used for raising miscellaneous crops.  The state offers scope for cultivation of a wide variety of agricultural crops because of highly diversified topography, altitude and climatic conditions. 

Rice and Maize are the major food crops. Rice, the most important food crop and occupies about 44% of the total agricultural land. Maize is the next important agricultural food crop of Meghalaya. It is grown in about 8% of the cropped area and cultivated mainly in the plains of Garo hills, Mairang, Mawphlang and Laskeiñ block of Jaiñtia hills. Cotton, Jute, Mesta are the important fibre crops grown in the State. These crops have been the traditional cash crops of Garo Hills. 

Besides the major food crops of rice and maize, the state is renowned for its horticultural crops like Orange, Pineapple, Lemon, Guava, Litchi, Jackfruit and Bananas; and fruits such as Plum, Pear and Peach. Meghalaya is the major producer of Khasi Mandarin, tagged as its most important fruit, both in the northern and southern slopes of the state.  A large variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, spices, mushrooms and medicinal plants, both indigenous and exotic are grown across a wide range of agro climatic zones.  Plantation crops such as Tea, Cashewnut, Coconut, Arecanut and other spice crop like Black Pepper have been performing well and offer good scope for area expansion. Cashew nut is one of the important plantation crop, which is mainly grown in Garo Hills of Meghalaya. A wide range of indigenous fruits are also cultivated in the State such as Soh phie (Myrica nagi), Sohïong (Prunus nepalensis), Sohshang (Eleagnus khasianum), Sohphlang (Flemingia vestitia), Soh phoh khasi (Docynia indica khasiana). 

The major vegetable crops grown in the State are Cauliflower, Cabbage, Knol-Khol, Peas, Beans, Tomato, Carrot, Radish, Turnip, Beetroot, Lettuce, Brinjal, Lady’s finger, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Squash, Chow-Chow, Gourds and a wide range of other leafy vegetables.  Other vegetables like Broccoli, Chinese cabbage, Zucchini and Celery with good market potential are also being encouraged in the State and are picking up slowly. 

Meghalaya is known for its unique spices such as Bengal Ginger (local name- Sying makhir), Roccambole Garlic (local name-Rynsun khasi), Winged Prickly Ash (local name- Jaïur), Indian Bay leaf (local name-Sla tyrpad), Indian Long Pepper (local name-Sohmrit khlaw), Aromatic Ginger (local name-Sying shmoh). Lakadong Turmeric is indigenous to Meghalaya; it is a special variety which is also a good source of curcumin and has good commercial value in the market. 

Meghalaya agriculture practice has been organic by tradition and the State is slowly transforming towards organic agriculture, through sustainable and chemical free agriculture practice, environment friendly pest and diseases control methods, use of bio fertilisers and organic manure. 18 Days Berkely hot composting, Jeevamrutha and panchagavya are being popularised among the farming community.

The State has a very high potential for cultivation of all types of flowers such as Orchids, Chrysanthemums, Gerberas, Carnations, Liliums, Gladiolus, Asters, Marigolds, Gomphrenas, Zinnias, Roses and different kinds of house plants. About 300 of the world’s species are found in rich forestlands, gardens and nurseries. Amongst its rare species are the insect-eating Pitcher Plant, Wild Citrus and Pygmy Lily. The highest number of orchid species is located in Mawsmai and Mawmluh.

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