Events of ADRI (Patna - Ranchi)
Patna, March 6. A state level policy dialogue was jointly organised by Tata Cornell Institute (TCI) and Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) on the topic of “Towards Diversifying Food System in Bihar for Improving Nutritional Outcomes’ on the 6th of March, 2018 in Patna. Shri Sunil Kumar Singh, Agriculture Production Commissioner (I.A.S.), Government of Bihar inaugurated the programme. Dr. Shaibal Gupta, in his welcoming remarks stressed that agriculture should be practised out of choice and not compulsion. He elaborated that price safety net needs to be extended for non-cereal crops and farmers need to be incentivised to diversify their agricultural produce. Professor Prabhu Pingali, Director, TCI emphasised that diversification of crops is the way forward to address the overall nutritional outcomes in Bihar . Concerted efforts are required to make Bihar sufficient not only in staples but also in non-staples. Shri Sunil Kumar Singh stressed the need to ensure remunerative returns to farmers and invest in co-operative marketing for vegetables. Mr. Shaswat Gautam, Distinguished Fellow, ADRI, presented the vote of thanks acknowledging the presence of different stakeholders for the policy dialogue.
Dr. R. C. Srivastava, Vice-Chancellor, RPCAU, PUSA emphasized the need to reduce area under production of staples and increase their productivity in Bihar. The distinguished panel suggested ways to focus on high-value crops, promote mechanization through labor saving and women friendly technologies and introduce nutri-cereals through ICDS and MDM to achieve better nutritional outcomes. The session on animal husbandry, chaired by Dr. N. Vijayalakshmi (I.A.S.), Secretary, Animal and Fisheries Resources Department highlighted the main issues that need to be addressed in the state to cover the entire livestock production system and not merely focus on animal breeding. Women need to be supported with practical programs towards better management of livestock and small ruminants. The session on issue of agricultural marketing and value chains in Bihar chaired by Professor Prabhat Ghosh, Director, ADRI, emphasized that farmers should become the centre of policy focus and government support in price determination and marketing is highly essential to substantially impact farmer’s incomes.
Given the overall growth in Bihar during the last decade, most of the panelists agreed that it is high time we push for bringing the second round of Green Revolution in the State which prioritizes non-staples through active private market initiatives enabling agricultural diversification. This also sits well with Chief Minister’s aim of bringing about an Evergreen Revolution in Bihar.