|(Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India) , T. M. Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur-812007 Ph. 91-641-2427503|
9. Prospects of Value Addition of Forest Produce in Tribal Areas - An Analysis Across the States (A Consolidated Report on Madhya Pradesh & Bihar)
The study was undertaken in MP and Bihar for examining the prospects of value addition of forest produce in the tribal areas and was based on the same set of objectives and methodologies adopted in the respective independent studies.
The findings of the study indicate that value addition of all MFPs are not possible at primary level because of complicated processing and costly machinery. These products are being sold on "as is where is basis". The prospect of MFPs value addition industries are exceedingly bright in these states. Tribal of these two states can earn a higher proportion of income and sustenance through MFPs. A number of action points have been suggested for collection, value addition and marketing which may accelerate the pace of income and employment generation in these areas.
10. Economic Reforms and Dynamics of Co-operative Movement in India (A Consolidated Report on Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra & Tamilnadu)
Economic liberalisation in recent years has deregulated many sectors of co-operatives. It has challenged the very survival and development of Co-operative Movement in India. Keeping in view of these facts, the study was undertaken to review the performances and viability of various co-operatives during the post economic reforms era and trace their strengths and weaknesses in functioning. The study was undertaken in states of Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Maharastra and Tamilnadu and was restricted only to Agricultural Co-operatives, both Credit and Non-Credit.
The findings of the study indicate that under the changing economic situations due to increasing emphasis on liberalisation, privatisation, and market orientation there is an urgent need to liberate co-operatives from the clutches of the Government by making necessary amendments in existing Indian Co-operative Societies' Act.
Ranchi and Hazaribagh districts of the state of Jharkhand having the cold climate constitute an ideal condition for mushroom cultivation. Mushroom is an excellent source of high quality proteins, vitamins and minerals. With the objectives of examining the economics, financial efficiency, marketing and related constraints in the production of mushrooms the study under reference was undertaken in these two districts of old Bihar on the basis of highest number of mushroom growers. The study identified a number of problems and potentials of mushroom cultivation.
The findings of the study indicate that about 98% of the sample cultivators were growing mushrooms on commercial basis. The large category growers incurred higher cost than the other categories. The financial efficiency measures like expected turn-over ratio, gross ratio, operating ratio and production function were also examined. Attention of the State Government, NABARD and National Centre for Mushroom Production, Solan (H.P) has been drawn for improvement.
For setting up Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institutes (FMT & TI) in Bihar and to examine, to scrutinize and to evaluate the gaps in the existing training and testing facilities available in Bihar the study was undertaken on the recommendations of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture (PSCA).
For fulfilment of suitable locations for establishment of FMT & TI in Bihar discussions were held with several concerned experts from state agricultural universities, agricultural engineering department of Government of Bihar and the manufacturers of farm implements in the State. In fact there is a deplorable dearth of testing and training facilities in Bihar. The experts suggested a number of criteria for providing proper and adequate training and testing facilities in the State. On the basis of the unanimous opinions of the experts for setting up of a Farm Machinery Institute in Bihar four locations were chosen, namely, Hazipur, Sabour, Biharsharif and Barh or Mokama.
The concept of Minimum Support Price was introduced by the Agricultural Price Commission in mid-1960's. The MSPs fixed by the government are in the nature of long term guarantee to enable the producers to pursue their efforts with the assurance that the prices of their produce would not be allowed to fall below the floor prices even in the event of a glut in the market. Bihar is the 3rd populous state of India and food crops dominate its agricultural economy. With the objectives of examining the effectiveness of the price policy in the state, documenting the impact of MSP on agricultural growth, analysis of process of implementation, evaluation of the impact of MSP on income and investment of farmers and assessment of its impact on crop rotation, the study was undertaken by selecting the district of Rohtas as food crop growing region and Purnea as non-food crop growing region. Darbhanga was selected as the third district growing mainly food crops but less agriculturally developed region.
The findings of the study indicate that there is an urgent need to create an environment for an effective implementation of support prices in the state. If the policy becomes functional in real terms, the state of Bihar may be a surplus state in food grains production because the gap between the actual and potential is very high.
On the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture, this study was undertaken for examining the problems of flow of credit to small and marginal farmers on getting easy and cheap credit from rural financial institutions. Two districts, namely, Bhagalpur and Madhubani were selected for the study. The functioning of traditional rural financial institutions was evaluated in Bhagalpur District and the working of new generation financial institutions and NGOs like ADITHI, Nari Nidhi and Gram Vikas Parishad was examined in Madhubani District.
The findings of the study indicate that the loaning pattern, working and performance of formal sources of loans are not at par with those of informal lending institutions. It has been observed that micro financing to small and marginal farmers is increasing. The study has drawn the attention of NABARD, Central and State Governments, apex body of Co-operative institutions and recognised NGOs for raising the flow of credit to small and marginal farmers in Bihar.
At the initiative of the then Hon'ble Union Agriculture Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar, a study was undertaken in Mokama-Barahiya Tal area. The objectives of the study were to examine the measures to raise productivity of rabi pulses, to estimate the growth rate of the area, production and yield of major pulses, and to calculate cost-benefit ratios. The study also identified the major constraints in raising the production of pulses in the area. The universe of the study was Mokama-Barahiya Tal area of Patna and Lakhisarai districts. The study was conducted in four blocks - Mokama, Barh, Barahiya and Lakhisarai and 8 villages having rural based urban characteristics.
The findings of the study indicate that majority of the farmers growing gram, lentil and pea used traditional or local varieties of seeds. As per micro level investigations carried out in all the selected blocks and also discussions held with block officials, it was observed that since long time no frontline or block demonstration regarding the rabi pulses were carried out in the selected blocks. Some of the progressive farmers complained to our investigating team that in absence of demonstration they are not able to adopt new techniques while they want to increase their productivity and production of the farm by adopting new technology.
AERC for Bihar and Jharkhand, T.M. Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur