State-level meet in Bihar focuses on investment in agriculture and small-holder farmers

State-level meet in Bihar focuses on investment in agriculture and small-holder farmers

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#Bihar discusses report proposing more investment in agriculture and small-holder farmers. Know more http://bit.ly/1SSGVu6 @OxfamIndia

A status report on public expenditure towards agriculture sector in Bihar with specific reference to smallholder agriculture and women farmers has been prepared.

It was shared before government officials, members of Indian NGO’s, civil society organisations, academia, media persons as well as women farmers’ representative who travelled from 11 districts of Bihar to attend the event in Patna on June 25, 2015.

The report tries to understand the progress of various development parameters of agriculture sector in general and role and importance of public investment priorities to shape this critical sector of the state economy has been documented in this report over a period of last 15 years. More specially, answers to the following few research questions have been attempted in this report:

  • What is the trend and patterns of public spending (through budgets) towards agrarian sector and its priority in overall budget of the Union Government and Bihar during last 15 years?
  • How Union Government and Government of Bihar prioritised their respective annual budgets towards various components of agrarian sector.
  • What about specific schemes/programmes and its corresponding priorities in the state annual budgets towards small and marginal as well as women farmers?

The event was jointly inaugurated by Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Bihar, Vijoy Prakash; Regional Manager, Oxfam India, Pravind Kumar Praveen; Programme Coordinator, Small Holder Agriculture, Oxfam India, Sabita Parida; Development Consultant,  Nilachala Acharya; State Advisor to Commissioner to Supreme Court, Government of India, Rupesh Ji and Deputy Director (Horticulture) BAMETI Patna, Vijoy Kumar.

Sharing the status of agriculture in India, Sabita Parida, Programme Coordinator, Small Holder Agriculture from Oxfam India mentioned how public investment can play significant role in improving the status of smallholders.

“There is an urgent need to analyze the government investment, both at state and centre level to understand the factors and areas where we need to thrust on in order to increase well being of farmers, specifically small farmers,” Sabita said.

Appreciating the study that has gone into making the report, Vijoy Prakash, Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Bihar said: “Over the years agriculture has primarily been a private led sector but Bihar government was the first state to bring out the road map on agriculture in 2008. In the next phase we are trying to take up matters of post harvest investment and post harvest storage as well as the issue of land and irrigation rights in Bihar. Low investment, high productivity is the key in advancing the agriculture sector in Bihar. The challenge is how small investments can bring out greater returns rather than small returns on large investments in agriculture. We are trying to also focus on animal husbandry in Bihar.”

 

Written by: Adya Gupta

Photo Credit: Oxfam India

 


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