Interview

There is a need of private investment in Agricultural Marketing infrastructure at every level

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Nand Kishore, Bihar
Nand Kishore

Nand Kishore, Director Horticulture-Cum-Mission Director, Government of Bihar

My main approach as the Mission Director of horticultural development in Bihar revolves around the concept of cluster mode of cultivation. The cluster approach not only helps in better and economical way to get different horticultural inputs but it also provides a better marketing platform and minimum post harvest loss, says Nand Kishore, Director Horticulture-Cum-Mission Director, Government of Bihar in this interview with Elets News Network.

What is the agricultural scenario of Bihar.

Bihar is one of the fastest growing states in India and the key to overall development is agriculture sector. The strong foundation of Bihar’s agriculture lies in its fertile indo-gangetic alluvial soil and adequate water resource especially ground water. The diverse and favorable agro-climatic conditions of Bihar help in production of variety of crops, fruits and vegetables. The production of flower in Bihar has been improved significantly in recent past.

Which are the major agro produces of the state? Please state the rank of the producers in terms of the country.

The major cereal crops of Bihar are rice, wheat and maize. Bihar is one of the leading producers of these three food grains in the country. Arhar, gram and pea are the major pulses which are grown in Bihar. Bihar is sixth largest producer of fruits, third largest producer of vegetables, sixth largest producer of rice, fourth largest producer of maize and sixth largest producer of wheat in India. The major fruits produced in Bihar are mango, litchi, banana and pineapple. Bihar produces almost 70 to 80 percent litchi of India.

What are the initiatives taken by you as the Mission Director?

My main approach as the Mission Director of horticultural development in Bihar revolves around the concept of cluster mode of cultivation. The cluster approach not only helps in better and economical way to get different horticultural inputs but it also provides a better marketing platform and minimum post harvest loss. In this background a new scheme has been prepared by the name of “Bihar Rajya Udyanik Utpad Vikas Yojana“. In this scheme, small scale sorting, grading, packaging, storage and processing unit will be provided to the farmers group on the farm who have done the cluster farming in minimum area of 50 ha. Apart from that, for better planting material of fruits and vegetables, initiatives have been taken to provide better inputs and good quality planting material from Centre of Excellence.

Who are the major stakeholders for the agro marketing sector and how do they contribute in the progress of the sector?

In my view, stakeholders of agricultural marketing sector can be broadly divided into Direct as well as Indirect stakeholders.

Stakeholders of Agri-marketing

Direct Stakeholder Indirect Stakeholder
·Farmers · Financial Institutions
·  Farmers group like FPOs, FIG · Transporters
· Middle man · Marketing Infrastructure Developers
· Aggregators · Storage House
·Whole seller ·Physical Infrastructure Developers like Road, Electricity, etc
· Consumer
· Government

Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (BAZAR SAMITI) is now not in existence in Bihar.

Recently Department of Co-operative, Government of Bihar has started the vegetable marketing system in Urban Area through a van called TARKARI which is becoming popular because of its price and quality.

What are the areas of improvement you would like to implement in the sector?

There is a need of private investment in Agricultural Marketing infrastructure at every level. Weekly Gramin Haats (Village Markets) may be strengthened by providing support to farmers group. Grading, standardisation, packaging facilities at local level will help in better marketing with more income to farmers.

What is the export scenario of the agricultural produce of Bihar?

Export of Agricultural produce of Bihar from Bihar is negligible but agricultural produce like honey, makhana (fox-nut), some vegetables and fruits, etc. of Bihar are exported from other parts of the country. Some food grains, litchi, honey and makhana have high export potential. Bihar is looking forward to exports its high quality fruits like litchi, mango and banana. We are planning to export its vegetables like pointed gourd, okra, bitter gourd, etc. to Arabian Countries.


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