First of all let me congratulate you for forming agriculture Cabinet for Farm sector. This will increase the number count of fancy schemes rolled out by Government of Bihar. As per the common perception of the people near and dear to you, it will bring green revolution in Bihar.
But let me tell you that I beg to differ, your intentions are good but still you will fail, as the agricultural development policy of Bihar has N number of flaws but I will be highlighting some major ones.
Absence of APMC Act:
For boosting production and productivity of Agri-produce, an efficient market is needed i.e. more number of buyers of agricultural produce, but unfortunately instead of modifying APMC act and increase the number of market yards with high tech facilities, APMC act has been repealed.
This has decreased the number of options available with the farmers and it will result in the following outcomes
- Farmers of Bihar will become laggards, as the market signals will have greater lag before it reaches them.
- Agri-Processing Industry will take a lot of time to develop, as the supply will be staggered and widely separated thus increasing the payback period of Agri-processors.
Low use of IT:
The use of IT in agriculture of Bihar is very low and there is a lot of information asymmetry about the programme/scheme among the intended beneficiary. This gives rise to rent seeking behavior.
I think, this problem can be tackled by documenting the major programmes and making it available in the form of CD in every Panchyat/Block.
Corrupt and Defunct Agricultural institution:
Rajendra Agricultural University, Department of Agriculture and Co-operation (DAC) Bihar, ATMA, Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s, Kisan Call centers and zonal research stations are sitting with ample human resource base, with loosely defined targets. They are enjoying their leisure time without showcasing the desired result.
I think this problem will be rectified by including performance appraisal system by the intended beneficiaries.
Poor flow of institutional credit
The flow of institutional credit to farmers for the purpose of farming is very low as most of the loans to priority sector are given for trucks, tempos and tractors etc.
The GoB should try to redefine priority sector, and ensure smooth flow of institutional credit to the farming community.
To conclude, I know a lot of queries, doubts and suggestion can be given on this as well, but believe me this will follow the Pareto’s 80-20 rule and you can see the desirable change within 3-4 years (gestation period) or else you can keep beating the bush by forming whatever you like.