Bihar has a geographical area of 9.4 million hectares and fertile agricultural land spread across the Indo-Gangetic plains. The net cultivated area in the state accounted for about 57 per cent of the total reported geographical area during 2012-14. Over 70 per cent of rural workers depend on agriculture for livelihood. Despite its importance for the economic growth of the state, the agricultural sector had for long remained neglected, needing a big policy push for unleashing its growth potential. In order to address this shortcoming, the Government of Bihar launched agriculture roadmaps with specific targets for output, distribution of inputs, and service delivery, to be achieved within a specified time frame. The different phases of agricultural roadmaps were laid out as follows: the first agriculture roadmap (2008–09 to 2011–12); the second agriculture roadmap (2012–13 to 2016–17); and the third agriculture roadmap (2017–18 to 2022–23). These roadmaps focus on the holistic development of agriculture in the state, with an emphasis on increasing productivity growth and improving farmers’ income. These agriculture roadmaps have indeed improved the performance of agriculture. The average annual growth in agriculture during the pre-agriculture roadmap period (2001-02 to 2007-08) was 1.98 per cent, which increased to 2.09 per cent during the post-agriculture roadmap period (2008-09 to 2016-17). Within agriculture, the crop sector accounted for over 50 per cent of the total value of the output from agriculture and allied activities during 2015-16. The average growth in crop output was 3.63 per cent during the post-agriculture roadmap period as compared to a negative growth of 0.69 per cent during the pre-agriculture roadmap period.
In this context, this policy brief has been prepared for assessing whether input intensification or technological change is driving growth in crop output. The results would be useful for identifying the binding constraints on both input use and technological change.
This brief has been commissioned by the South Asia Research Hub of the UK Department for International Development
Pohit, Sanjib & Kannan, Elumalai. (2019). Sources of Crop Output Growth in Bihar: Implications for Policy Interventions.
Published 1 November 2019