The Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Assam is declared as State Agricultural Statistics Authority (SASA), by Government of India and is responsible for collecting and compiling district level data on Agriculture and other figures relating to Agriculture, compiled data are then transmitted to the Directorate of Economics and Statistics in Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operation, Government of India, who issues All India estimates. State Government also uses the Agricultural Statistics estimated by Directorate of Economics and Statistics (SASA) to adopt administrative planning and policy making decisions. The schemes of data collection on agriculture in brief are as follows.
Statistics of land use and crop area in the state originate as a by-product of Land Revenue Administration. The State system envisaged field to field enumeration by the Lot Mandals (Primary Workers) in the villages under their jurisdiction in each crop season. The details of crop area and land use particulars are recorded in a register called ‘CHITHA’. On the basis of this basic document the Directorate of Economics & Statistics has to prepare district and State level Land Use Statistics ie. Area abstract, Crop abstract and Irrigation abstract. But this procedure entails and induces delays in providing statistics of area under crops for which proper utilization (for production estimates of different crops in Assam) of area under different crops are not done.
In order to streamline the system of area reporting leading to provide timely information of area sown under crops, a programme known as Timely Reporting Scheme (TRS) was introduced by Union Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operation from 1973-74. The purpose of this scheme was to make administrative policy decision etc. of the State Government and to prepare reliable estimates of area under different crops and their production which are required much in advance. Though the primary field work is carried out by the field worker (Mandals) of the Revenue Department, the Director of Economics and Statistics (SASA) has drawn up the technical plan & programme, organized the training and analyzed the results.
Government in Agriculture Department had constituted Sub-divisional Committee on Agricultural Statistics (SDCAS) for preparation of forecast area under crops and review of collection, compilation and maintenance of Agricultural Statistics in the Sub-division level.
In the same Department Government had constituted another committee namely “The State Committee on Agricultural Statistics (SCAS)”, with the secretary to the Government of Assam, Revenue Department as chairman and Director of Economics and Statistics (SASA) as member-secretary for preparation of forecast area and production of crops and to review of collection, compilation and finalization of data on Agricultural Statistics at State level. The following are the members of the State committee on Agricultural Statistics.
Government of India has introduced a crop calendar showing specific dates and crops for holding forecast meetings at sub-division level for finalization of forecast area and estimation of average yield etc. on receipt of which from the sub-divisions the meetings of SCAS are held for finalization and release of District and State level estimates of area, average yield and production for onward transmission to the Government of India as per forecast calendar.
Crop Estimation Survey (CES) is one of the vital work relating to Agricultural Statistics done by the Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Assam. The objective of CES is to estimate district level and State level average yield (Kg/hect) and production of principal food and non-food crops conducting, scientifically planned crop cutting experiments in field level. Nine principal food and non-food crops covered under CES in Assam are Autumn paddy, Jute, Winter paddy, Matikalai, Rape & Mustard, Potato, Sugarcane, Wheat and Summer paddy. The crop estimation surveys are being done under the technical guidance of National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), Government of India.
To collect crop growing areas of Arecanut, Coconut, Fruits and Vegetables and to estimate average yield and production of Arecanut & Coconut, another survey viz. Survey on Arecanut, Coconut, Fruits & Vegetables (ACFV) is also conducted regularly by the Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Assam, following statistical technique.
National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) under Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation, Government of India has overall responsibility for providing technical guidance to all the States in developing suitable survey techniques for obtaining reliable estimates, assistance in training of staff and ensuring supervision. For the improvement of collection of crop statistics, NSSO (FOD) Government of India jointly with State Government of Assam has introduced a scheme “Improvement of Crop Statistics” (ICS) in the State from 1974-75. The objective of the scheme is to locate deficiencies in the system of collection of crop Statistics by exercising meaningful technical supervision over the primary field workers and to suggest remedial measures for improvement of the system.