Bihar state government has decided to constitute an ‘agriculture cabinet’ headed by Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar. The cabinet is expected to address to the problems of farmers and enhance the agrarian sector.
With ministers from 18 departments including irrigation, energy, sugarcane, rural works, animal husbandry, disaster management and water resources, Bihar will be the first state to constitute such a cabinet that will largely focus on issues concerning farmers.
According to the official data, against the national productivity average of 2 tonnes of rice per hectare, the state's rice productivity is about 1.5 tonnes per hectare. In case of wheat, the state's productivity is 2.2 tonnes per hectare against the national average of 2.7 tonnes.
The state government holds frequent droughts and floods responsible for this poor production. Agriculture is the backbone of Bihar's economy, involving 81 percent of workforce, and generating nearly 42 percent of the state domestic product.
Official websites say that except for maize and pulses, productivity of various farm produce in Bihar is much below the national average. Though the area under cultivation is shrinking, there is tremendous scope for income generation, by improving productivity.
Significantly, Bihar Government has given high priority to the agriculture sector and increased its budgetary allocation to Rs. 844 crore in 2011-12. The State Government has made an agricultural road map to boost the sector in the year 2008.