Issues for agricultural development in bihar
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Issues for Agricultural Development in Bihar. K.M.Singh and M.S.Meena ICAR-RCER, Patna. Presentation in the Technical Advisory Committee meeting of BMGF funded Improved Rice-based Rainfed Agricultural Systems (IRRAS) project on 03.09.2012 at Patna, India.

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Issues for Agricultural Development in Bihar

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Issues for Agricultural Development in Bihar

K.M.Singh and M.S.Meena

ICAR-RCER, Patna

Presentation in the Technical Advisory Committee meeting of BMGF funded Improved Rice-based Rainfed Agricultural Systems (IRRAS) project on 03.09.2012 at Patna, India


Changing Dynamics of the Global Food System

  • Agricultural productivity growth for most cereal crops has declined to less than 1% per year or even negative.

  • The production of biofuels has significantly distorted global food markets and prices.

  • Environmental issues like global warming are posing a serious challenge.

  • Fertilizer prices are now beyond reach of small and marginal farmers.

  • At the same time, economic growth, has substantially changed consumption patterns

  • And continuing population growth results in increasing food demand; therefore,

  • National food security has againbecome a major policy issue facing many countries including India.


Problems Confronting Agricultural Research and Extension Institutions

  • Both donor and government investments in agricultural research and extension have declined during the past two decades; the impact has been:

    • Most extension institutions have reduced staff numbers, little or no in-service training funds, and insufficient program resources.

    • Therefore, some development specialists, including donors, have concluded that public extension is, by nature, ineffective; therefore, it should be privatized.

    • However, where public extension systems have been strengthened, especially in India, they have been effective in diversifying farming systems.


Primary Agricultural Development Goals

  • Achieving National Food Security through technology transfer (diffusion of innovations)

  • Increasing farm income through a more market-driven extension system

  • Empowering men and women farmers by organizing producer groups (building social capital) to build more effective links with markets for HVPs

  • Encouraging the use of sustainable natural resource management (NRM) practices


Background: Changing Agricultural Development Goals

  • During 20th Century, the primary goal was to achieve national food security

    • Green Revolution technologies developed by NARS and CG Centers helped achieve this goal

  • However, rural poverty remains a serious problem

    (average farm size is <1 hectares for 90% of farm households

  • Natural resource management, especially sustainable use of land and water, are very serious and growing constraint.

  • Therefore, the strategy should be to focus on innovative approaches to increasing farm income among small-scale farm households by helping them diversify their farming systems through the use of land and water-efficient, high-value crop and livestock systems.


Bihar Agriculture

  • Bihar, third largest state with respect to population and seventh in terms of area.  

  • State supports 8.8 percent population of the country with only 2.8 per cent of land mass

  • About 69 per cent of geographical area is under cultivation

  • But one- third of geographical area faces various problems

  • Agriculture is an important sector and contributes about 16 per cent to State Gross Domestic Product

  • Agriculture also provides employment to 70 per cent of working force.


Bihar Agriculture

  • State is characterized by small land holders.

  • More than 90 % farm households are marginal with less than 1 ha land but own about 44% of cultivated land. 

  • Agriculture sector experienced a drastic change with respect to public investment, use of inputs, extension activities and crop-milk-fish production in recent years.

  • State government funding to agriculture gone up from less than Rs 200 crore during 2001-2006 to more than Rs 1,000 crore during 2006-2011.

  • State Agricultural GDP almost stagnant at Rs 32.5 billion during 1981-94 and its growth was negative in Ninth Five Year Plan (-1.4%) which turned positive in Tenth Five Year Plan (0.91%).


Bihar Agriculture

  • There was almost no growth in agriculture sector in Bihar during 1983-94.

  • During 1983-94 Net State Agricultural Domestic product stagnated at Rs 32.5 billion (at 1980-81 prices).

  • Per Capita income increased by only Rs 31 during the period i.e. from Rs 1003 (1983) to Rs.1034 (1994)

  • During 2004-11, State AgGDP grew at the annual growth rate of 2.7 per cent.

  • However, State Gross Domestic Product recorded growth of 10.9 per cent during the period which was higher than corresponding growth achieved at national level.

  • State agriculture sector achieved spectacular growth of 31 per cent in the year 2006-07.


Bihar Agriculture

  • However Bihar failed to maintain higher agriculture growth due to floods in 2007 and 2008, and drought in 2009 and 2010.

  • Despite drought, the state recorded the food grain production of 125 lakh tonnes and milk production of 63 lakh tonnes in 2010, indicating sustainability in agricultural production.

  • Agricultural production showed increasing trend during last five years.

  • Milk production increased from 3.0 million tonnes in 2004 to 6.3 million tones as 2010-11

  • Fish production also increased from 0.027million tones in 2004-05 to 0.030 tones in 2010-11


Bihar Agriculture

Problem area or Hidden Opportunities?


Growth in SGDP and SAgGDP in Bihar during 9th ,10th and 11th five year plans (in %)


Area, Production and Productivity of Principal Crops in Bihar

A=Area in Million ha., P=Production in Million Tons, Y=Yield in Qtls/ha.


Incidence of Poverty in Bihar vs. India

(during last 30 Years)


Public Sector Extension

Department of Agriculture

  • Present in all districts, up to Block, Panchayat

  • Staff numbers low; weak research link; top-down, linear

  • Perform non-extension duties & implement schemes

    Krishi Vigyan Kendras (ICAR)

  • Present in all districts, multi-disciplinary team

  • Staff low; partnerships/linkage rare; local coverage only

    State Agricultural Universities

  • Lab to land, frontline extension in few adopted villages or near location (farmer reach limited)

  • Weak partnerships and links between ICAR and Dept of Ag


Innovations in public sector extension in 10th and 11th Five year plans

  • Support to State Extension Programs for Extension Reforms (SSEPER) -Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA)

  • Agri-clinics and Agribusiness scheme

  • Kisan Call Centre


Main points…….

  • Public sector extension is mainly technology delivery system

  • Private sector/NGOs expanding in extension but limited geographic scope

  • ATMA (innovation), more process driven BUT lack of personnel until 2010 led to uneven implementation

  • Extension focus on disseminating technology

  • BUT farmer groups, linking to markets, sustainability, natural resource management are still the major areas of concern.

  • Also, lack of understanding of market-led, demand-driven extension among the people managing extension activities, a major challenge.


Changes to public sector extension because of ATMA

  • More funding for extension and personnel

  • Increased linkages between line departments and KVKs

  • Farmer participation & decision-making


Revised structure of ATMA 2010

Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA)

Governing Board

ATMA Project Director

W

O

R

K

P

L

A

N

F

U

N

D

F

L

O

W

ATMA Management Committee (AMC)

Farm Information & Advisory Centers (FIAC)

Farmer Advisory Block Technology

Committee (FAC) Team (BTT)

Para

Input

Private

NGO

Farmer Interest Groups (FIGs) or Women Interest Groups (WIGs)

Organizational structure during pilot

Source: Singh,K.M., 2006


Bihar Experiences

  • ATMA dovetailed with Dept of Agriculture however autonomy is an issue (worried about duplicity)

  • ATMA funding mechanism good/easy and implemented

  • Added exclusive district staff through state funding (2007), hired Panchayat staff (4000) and farmer adviser (Kisan Mitra)

  • Activities production focus, technology dissemination state/district activity > block activity (e.g. SRI=state)

  • FAC, appreciated by farmers as a platform to share problems but has potential to become more of a socio-political entity (Fear of elite capture real)

  • Block Agriculture officer overworked – FAC/BTT not meeting monthly, as envisaged in project

  • Partnerships with other line departments, private sector, civil societies and NGOs weak


Additional Manpower for extension

Note: This is in addition to existing staff strength of 4500 with Department of Agriculture out of sanctioned strength of 8730 in Bihar.


Further considerations…..

  • Monitoring and evaluation of quality of activities, learning from processes, and impact

  • Enhanced funding to reach more farmers

  • More autonomy to decide on its activities

  • Capacity building on ATMA concepts to district/block level officers including BTT/FAC and

  • Qualitative strengthening of BAMETI

  • More focus on providing hand holding support to various farmer groups

  • Close linkages with SAUs/ICAR Institutes and KVKs

  • Along with Production focus, post-harvest and marketing should also be given equal importance


Some final points

  • Despite pluralism in ATMA concept: departments and sectors work in isolation

  • Needs to move beyond transfer of technology,

  • Evolve as contexts require: flexible, adaptive, learning

  • Strengthen link between ICAR - Dept of Agriculture

  • Encourage partnerships with private sector and NGOs.

  • Monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment lacking, with few empirical assessments.

  • Also experimenting and learning from new ways of organizing extension lacking


THANK YOU


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