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Dr. Ajay K Jha,
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA

In the state of Bihar, most of the farmers are marginal with small land holdings or are sharecroppers / tenants; anyway the culture of Bihar is one which is Agriculture. The un-economic size of land-holdings defeats the very purpose of any gainful results through farming. Therefore, there is a crying need to introduce co-operation among these farmers which by sharing the investments required for modern hi-tech agriculture will benefit them through higher productivity, added revenues and better livelihood. Consequently, this will also help in forward integration of agriculture with value-addition through industry and ensure that the benefits of development percolate to the grassroots level covering the poorest among the poor.

Improved performance of the Agriculture Sector is essential to sustain the growing population needs, provide new jobs to villagers and reduce their migration to urban areas. There is also possibility of growth in economy and employment generation in the villages by enhancing a cooperative action on infrastructure development and also create value addition center (packaging, storage and processing) of agriculture commodities but also surrounding agriculture, an offshoots can be created in form of small scale cottage industries. Role model of the project would be also to create a positive approach towards better future, awareness, Education, health and sanitation, information linkage and opportunity of employment and good governance.

The most important missing link in Agriculture is to sustain and enhance the value addition productivity and improving farm management. Lack of on-farm training to the farmers and linkage with the developed market is greatest concern for the farmer's future growth. A major contribution in the 60% loss of the agriculture produce is due to the lack of proper Pre- and Post Harvest Management and also absence of flow of changing technology to the farm gate. Hence, there is an urgent need to upgrade the technological inputs available to the farmers and localize the solutions to meet their needs. In the local village agricultural markets (i.e. Haats) the prices given to the farm produce is not enough for farmers and therefore further investment cannot be made for advanced agricultural inputs. Hence, to avoid these bottlenecks, it is urgently needed to ensure better prices of farmers produce by accessing wider marketing network by diversifying agriculture.

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