Birbhum is an important district of “Rarh Region” situated in the northern part of Burdwan Division of West Bengal. The district lies between 23˚-32’-30”and 24˚-35’-0” North Latitude and 88˚-01’-40”and 87˚-05’-25” East Latitude. The district is bounded by Murshidabad in the East and North-East, Burdwan in the South and South-East and Santal Parganas of Jharkhand in the West and North-West.
The district is spread over an area of 4545 sq. km. and is characterized by undulating topography. The land situation is gradually slopped down from the west to the flat plains appear in the furthest of the district.
Most of the rivers and rivulets originate from the Chhotonagpur hills, enter in to the western part and pass through the eastern direction of the district. The river Ajoy divides the districts Birbhum and Burdwan. The rivers Mayurakshi, Hinglow, Bansloi, Kopai, Bakreswar, Siddheswari, Brahamani, Dwarka etc. pass through different blocks of the district.
The area of the district lies under 3 Agro-climatic Zones of the State namely (1) Gangetic Alluvial Zone, (2) Vindhyan Alluvial Zone, (3) Undulating Red and Laterite Zone.
Gangetic Alluvial Zone: The alluvial soil is very deep, medium fine to medium texture, neutral to mildly alkaline in PH, calcareousness is significant in large section, base saturation moderately high, N, P status medium-to-medium low and K status is medium to high, external drainage medium to slow and internal drainage is moderate.
Vindhyan Alluvial Zone: Soil in general is deep in nature, texturally medium fine, mostly acidic in soil reaction and PH increasing with depth, external drainage medium, and internally moderate well-drained, ground water deeply placed, low in bases organic matter and phosphate (P), medium in potash (K).
Undulating Red and Laterite Zone: The region is primarily undulating with mounds and valleys and exhibiting different grades of laterisation process in soil formation.
Soil is normally well drained, susceptible to soil erosion due to rapid external drainage or runoff, soil reaction ranges from acidic in ridge and near neutral in valleys, base saturation, and organic carbon content, phosphate matter and potash are significantly low at ridge but increases down the slope especially at valley
Agriculture of the region is mostly rain dependent. Ground water is not easily and economically harvestable. Prevalence of moisture stress on standing Kharif crops during the late monsoon period is very common.
The Agro-climatic condition of the district is mainly influenced by the presence of a number of Rivers, Rivulets, Dams, and Barrages. The temperature varies from 12.7˚C to 28.3˚C in winter and from 25.5˚C to 41.5˚C in summer. The average rainfall is 1430 mm. the soil is generally acidic in nature.
The total geological area of this District is 454500 ha of which 320610 ha (70.54%) is under cultivation.
Out of the total area under cultivation 54.58% area is covered by irrigation. There is Mayurakshi canal projects in the district. The main source of irrigation is ground water. Presently, there are 450313 no of farming families of which 359404 nos. belongs to marginal category, 63374 nos. belongs to small category,26236 nos belongs to semi medium,1290 nos. belongs medium category and rest 9 nos. belongs to large farmers category. Since more than 73% of land belongs to small and marginal farmers and average size of land holdings is 0.71 ha which becomes difficult for application of advanced technology in farmers field. Paddy is the major crop of this district which covers an area of 94% of the total cultivated area of the district during kharif. Other major crops are Oilseeds, Wheat & pulses, vegetables. The major cropping pattern of the District is Aman/ AusPaddy/Wheat/ Vegetable / Oilseeds/ Pulses/ Boro Paddy. Due to high dependence on chemical fertilizer and scanty use of organic fertilizer &FYM and unscientific cropping system, continuous pudding of soil, soil fertility is deteriorating day by day. On the other hand contamination of chemicals on all agril. produce and living organism is a serious concern. In order to over come this problems State Department of Agriculture has introduced several programmes like, Organic farming, Bio-village, Soil Health Management etc. and massive training programmes at different levels with the small and marginal farmers. The information on land use pattern of the district is given in table.
The main problems which hinder development of farming in this District are small land holdings, resurgence of insect pest, poor marketing facilities and on and often natural calamities like drought, flood, hailstorm and heavy population pressure on land etc. In order to minimize such constraints some measures have already been taken by the State Govt.
The ground water resource of the most blocks of this district has been over exploited and ground water level is declining day by day. Depletion of ground water table is really a serious problem to supply of water for drinking and for any agricultural production. As a result major emphasis has been given on rain water harvesting for which several schemes have been introduced (Block wise information on irrigated area has been represented in table. View Detail Report (PDF 2 MB)
Deputy Director of Agriculture (Administration), Birbhum
Office Address : Old Collectorate Building
P.O- Suri, District-Birbhum
Phone No: 03463255281, E-mail- paobirbhum[at]gmail[dot]com