The World Bank recently released a report on how agricultural livelihoods can be enhanced using community institutions in Bihar, India. The detailed research report can be downloaded at the link below :
Enhancing Agricultural Livelihoods through Community Institutions
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Bihar is the third most populous state in India with over 100 million inhabitants. The states economy is dominated by agriculture: it constitutes 19.2 percent of states Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs nearly 75 percent of the labor force. 92.8 percent of the farmers in Bihar are small and marginal (small holders), which is much higher than the all India average of 83.5 percent.
In addition, only 29 percent of households own any land and the average landholding size is approximately one acres3. Furthermore, Bihars agriculture productivity is one of the lowest in India. For instance, the average productivity of paddy and wheat, the two major crops of the state, is much lower than the national average. The productivity of smallholders is further lower than the state average. Agriculture productivity in Bihar also affects food security as 88 percent of Bihars poor depend on farming for subsistence.
Currently, programs that have not customized and adopted technologies for smallholders, have met with limited success. Other programs that are administered in a top-down manner have had a very slow adoption rate and limited long-term impact. These interventions have neither addressed the root of the problem nor the intergenerational nature of landlessness and poverty