Agriculture in India
The Green Revolution transformed India’s agriculture sector in the 20th century, allowing the country to feed its population and become a leader in global trade of commodities. Today national and international leaders are calling for a “second green revolution” as a gridlock of challenges continues to dampen the success of India’s ag economy.
Bihar is a place where the potential for impact is very high. Challenges in India’s agriculture sector are greatest in states least impacted by the first Green Revolution. Bihar, an eastern state that is simultaneously one of the poorest and most populous states in India, is one of these places. Eighty percent of the population is dependent on agriculture as their source of income, many earning less than USD $1.25 per day. Farm sizes are small at one hectare or less and producers use a combination of low-scale technology, manual labor, and traditional methods to harvest, dry, store, and process their goods. In Bihar, small-scale solutions can have a drastic impact.
Due to inadequate postharvest technologies and practices, the agricultural state loses $1.7 billion of crops each year, the third-highest amount in the country. From the development and adoption of appropriate technologies to using phone technology to connect farmers to marketing opportunities, this project will provide producers and communities with multifaceted solutions for loss issues.
The “Reduction of Postharvest Loss for Smallholder Farmers” project aims to reduce postharvest losses (PHL) in Bihar, India. For this project, the institute and local partners selected a village to become the model village, where we will implement a variety of technologies in “postharvest technology centers”. Several centers are being built in the village to make the technology accessible to all residents. Each technology center will include an STR dryer, threshing machine, and dal mill. Villagers will also have access to hermetic storage bags at reduced rates.
In addition to technology, local partners are also providing farmer training sessions. Technology does not improve livelihoods if the farmers are not aware of the best practices for using it, so we want to make sure farmers have all the knowledge they need to set them up for success.
The ADMI Village project in Bihar is led by the ADM Institute, with partner support from Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University and Bihar Agricultural University, both in the state of Bihar, and the Borlaug Institute for South Asia.