About Research at BAU, Sabour:
Bihar is the 12th largest state in India in terms of geographical area and is the
second most populous state (10.38 Crores) in the country. The population density
of the state is 880/ sq km compared to 340/ sq Km in India. It is an agrarian state
and agriculture is the vital source of livelihood for nearly 76 percent of its population.
The share of agriculture in state domestic product is approximately 42 per cent.
About 88 per cent of the farmers in Bihar are small and marginal and own nearly
92.5 per cent of land holdings. Gifted with rich natural resources, varied climate
and rich human resources, the state is one of the fastest developing states in the
Despite being abundant in terms of resources, Bihar grapples with the problem of
poverty. Characterized by food insecurity, weak infrastructure, droughts and floods,
high climatic variability, land degradation and widespread poverty, one-seventh
of India’s below-the-poverty-line (BPL) people live in Bihar. The inter-relationships
between these challenges have created a “Poverty Trap” in the state.
Being heavily dependent on agriculture, poor crop yield due to limited use of external
inputs, marginal land holdings size, lack of awareness and technical inputs along
with several other factors have led to unsustainable agricultural practices and
degradation of the natural resources in the state. Rising levels of unemployment,
limited ex-farm livelihood opportunities, and rapid population growth have also
increased migration of human resource to another states.
Superimposed on these challenges are the impact of urbanization and boom in other
sectors of the Indian economy. In this background it is critical to emphasize the
importance of economic development of the state’s rural community particularly the
small and marginal landholders. Rural communities in the state need should be supported
through agricultural research and reforms that enable them to add value to their
products and move from subsistence to market oriented production of agricultural
There is an urgent need to develop not only technical options, but also policy and
institutional options that improve livelihoods and increase food security.This in
turn will contribute to sustainable development of the entire state economy.