Shri Singh said that agriculture sector’s contribution is important for economic growth of the country. Agriculture contributes around 14 percent in the country’s GDP and the contribution is 19 percent in Bihar. With the growth of the economy, the contribution of agriculture sector to the country’s GDP is decreasing, but the population’s dependency on agriculture is not decreasing in the same proportion. It poses a challenge for inclusive growth. Compared to the rest of the country, there is more pressure on agriculture in Bihar. The state’s share in land holdings in the country is 3.8 percent, whereas Bihar’s share in the country’s population is 8.6 percent. The population density of the state is 1106 people per sq. Km, whereas the national average is only 382 persons per sq. Km. In the state, 91 percent of the farmers are marginal while the national average is 68 percent. Keeping this in view, the population of the state is under heavy pressure and the number of marginal farmers and agricultural laborers in the farming families is higher.
The state has enough natural resources such as fertile soil, water and agricultural hydrological conditions for the development of agriculture. In the last four-five years apart from achievements in crop and horticulture, there has been a significant progress in agriculture too. Last year, an estimated 141 lakh tonnes of crops were produced in the state and it includes paddy 68.8 lakh tonnes, wheat 47.4 lakh tonnes, maize 25.2 lakh tonnes, pulses 4.2 lakh tonnes and oilseeds 1.3 lakh tonnes. According to the estimates, 156.29 lakh tonnes vegetables and 40 lakh tonnes fruits were produced. Similarly, milk production in the state has been 87 lakh MT, egg 111 crore, meat is 3.26 lakh tonnes and fish production is 5.06 lakh MT.
Agricultural universities and agricultural institutions have made significant contributions in agricultural production. At present, there are two agricultural universities and one animal science university, four research institutes of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (2 in Patna, and one each in Muzaffarpur and Motihari), four regional agricultural research institutes (in Motipur, Pusa, Darbhanga and Begusarai), six agricultural colleges, one fish, dairy, agricultural management, horticulture and veterinary college in the state. Krishi Vigyan Kendra is working in all 38 districts for the promotion, evaluation, and training of agricultural technology. Agricultural science portal has been created to provide information about the activities of all the agricultural science centers.
Kisan Suvidha and Pusa Krishi Apps, Crop Insurance Mobile App and Agricultural Market App have been developed by incorporating information technology in agriculture. Farmers can get information about climate change, agricultural consultations, market prices etc through the apps.
Pusa Krishi App provides information about the technology developed by IARI. Crop Insurance App provides general information as well as about insured amount, premium details, notified crop information, etc. National Agricultural Market (eNAM) App provides information about the value of the crop in mandis within the range of 50 km. Crop insurance portal reduces claim settlement time and increases transparency. To double the income of the farmers till 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture is running a seven-point program.