State Profile -Agriculture

Agriculture is the key area for the overall development of economy of the state. After the bifurcation of the state of Bihar and formation of separate Jharkhand state, Bihar is left with only agriculture as the main source of livelihood for its residents as all the industrial units and mines are located in Jharkhand. With fertile cultivable land in the Indo-Gangetic Plain and abundant water, both surface and sub-surface, the state is endowed with rich natural resources for Agriculture which is the dominant economic activity employing around three quarter of the state’s work force. Rice, wheat, sugarcane and jute are the main crops grown in the state. Supplementary crops include oilseeds, pulses, barley, gram and maize and a variety of vegetables. The state is also known for its fruit products like litchi, mango and Banana besides being a major producer of vegetables.

SWOT Analysis of Bihar Agriculture
Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats

1. The soils are light, alluvium - derived soils mostly khaddar (recent alluvium) and hanger (Old alluvium). In many places the soils are deep, loamy and high in organic matter content and hence very suitable for intensive cultivation.

1. The population pressure in this region is exceedingly high.

1.  By providing quality seed and planting material to farmers overall productivity can easily be increased 2–3 times.

1.Due to land tenancy laws, the operational holdings will be further getting smaller which may reduce the scope for intensive agriculture.

2. The state has high irrigation potential since water table is high.

2. Although there are Directorates of Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry, but their extension services in terms of creating awareness about new technologies, conducting field demonstrations, conducting training programmes and providing latest information to farmers are very poor.

2. The region receives good rainfall and the water table is high. By adopting proper water management practices the entire agricultural land can be converted into irrigated land, whereby maximum benefit can be derived from the quality seed of improved varieties

2.  The region has good rainfall but also receives floods during monsoon. Unless proper attention is given to proper soil conservation, drainage and water management programmes, the water logging and soil erosion problems may take serious turn in future and it would be difficult to maintain soil fertility.

3. Rice-Wheat cropping system is most predominant.

3. Although about 70% of the villages are electrified, but electricity is not available for more than 10 hours a day. The farmers cannot depend on electric supply for irrigation and other agricultural operations and are dependent on diesel engines.

3. The area has good potential of growing good quality fruits and vegetables. The region has also high population density. By adopting scientific methods of production, making best use of agricultural labour force and by using proper Post-Harvest Technology at farm/village level, the production of horticultural crops can be increased many folds.

3.  In absence of proper storage facilities, heavy losses is being incurred, may continue in future also.

4. The region has good climate. Predominantly there are three seasons—hot summer (April–June), hot and humid rainy season (July–October) and cool dry winter (November–March). The growing period ranges from 180–210 days in a year. Two crops are common but with irrigation, third crop can also be taken during summer.

4. The region has good opportunity of seed processing activities in the production catchments for increased income and employment and to wipe out hunger and  poverty.

5. The region has a number of ICAR Research Institutes and their Regional Stations, Agricultural Universities, Centres of All India Coordinated Research Projects and Krishi Vigyan Kendras to support the current and ensuing programmes

5. Availability of high quality planting material will encourage the production of high value crops substantially.

6. State has good potential for quality seed production of field crops, fruits and vegetables.

7. Working force is available at cheaper rate.