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Agriculture in Bihar

Bihar falls in the river plain of the Ganga basin area and is endowed with fertile alluvial soil with abundant water resources, particularly ground water resources.This makes Bihar agriculture rich and diverse although it has not reached its full potential to date. Rice,wheat,and maize are major cereal crops of Bihar. Arhar urad, moong, gram, pea, lentils, and khesaria are some of the pulses cultivated in Bihar. Bihar is the largest producer of vegetables which is dominated by potato, onion, brinzle and cauliflower. In fruits cultivation, it is the largest producer of lychee , third largest producer of pineapple and major producer of mango, banana, guava. Sugar cane and jute are two other major cash crop of Bihar.

Rainfall and soil
The average rainfall in Bihar is 1052.60 mms. The rainfall in Bihar is largely due to South-west monsoon which accounts for around 85 percent of total rainfall in the state. The other sources, viz, winter rain, hot weather rain and north-west monsoon account for remaining 15 percent.

The average normal rainfall in the state is more or less adequate for all its agricultural operations. However, it is the year-to-year changes which lead to drought or flood. This causes extensive damage to crop production and the overall income of the state.

Bihar has a geographical area of 93.6 lakh hectares with three important agro-climatic zones — North-West, North-East and South. The North-West zone has 13 districts. The zone receives an annual rainfall of 1040-1450 mms. The soil is mostly loam and sandy loam. The North–East Zone has 8 districts.

This zone receives rainfall ranging from 1200-1700 mms. The soil here is loam and clay loam. Finally, the South-Zone having 17 districts receives an average rainfall of 990-1300 mms and the soil consist sandy loam, loam, clay and clay loam.

Cropping pattern
Net sown area in bihar is 60% of its geographical area.it is much heigher than all india average of 42%.Such high percentage is possible because of two reason. first,most of bihar is plain area suitable for agriculture.second,most of the forest had been converted into farmland during the last 2000 years.currently land under forest constitute only 6% of geographical area of bihar.

Agricultural economy is still very much oriented towards subsistence production, as the area under foodgrains production is as high as 94 percent.86% percent of which is under cereals cultivation dominated by rice,wheat,maize and rest of 8% is under pulses.oilseeds and fibrecrop cover 2% each while sugercane covers 1.5%.

Food Grains
Rice is cultivated in all district of Bihar.Different variety of rice are grown at different time of year.autumn rice,aghani rice,summer rice are three different variety of rice grown at three different time of the year.The average production of rice is around 50 lakh tonnes each year.wheat is a major crop of rabi.Some five decades back, wheat cultivation was very restricted in bihar.

It was only after green revolution success,wheat was taken by bihari farmers in larger scale and now occupy the status of major crop of rabi season.This is one of the significant change in crop pattern of bihar.The average annual wheat production is around 40-45 tonnes each year.Maize is another cereal crop cultivated in bihar.The average annual production level is around 15 lakh tonnes.In case of maize, there is a steady positive trend in production.

The leading producer districts are — khagaria,saharsa.pulses such as moong,arhar,pea,khesari are grown .pulse cultivation is more in southern bihar as compared to north bihar.The leading districts are — Patna , Bhojpur , Aurangabad , Nalanda . Fruits
Around 5.33 percent of the net cultivated area in Bihar is under fruits cultivation . Fruits are generally grown as cash crops.Mango, guava, litchi and banana are the major fruit crops of Bihar.'Chinia Kela' of Hajipur is a famous variety of banana which is known for its taste.Litchi of Muzaffarpur has become a proud brand name throughout the country.

Darbhanga, Samastipur, Muzaffarpur, East Champaran , Vaishali and West Champaran are major producer of Mangoes.Gulabkhas,Zrdaloo,Maldah,Bumbai are some of the famous variety of mango cultivated in bihar.Muzaffarpur dominates the litchi production,Other important districts are Sitamarhi, West Champaran , East Champaran , Vaishali and Samastipur.

For banana, Muzaffarpur has largest share in production. Vaishali, Samastipur, Darbhangaare other impoertant producers.guava production is mainly concentrated in the south-west and north-west regions of the state namely in Rohtas ,Bhojpur ,West Chamapran ,East Champaran. Vegetables
Total area under vegetable production is about 11.02 percent of the state's gross sown area and this is showing an upward trend.The important vegetable crops include potato , onion , tomatos , cauliflower and brinjal .

Hajipur in Vaishali is famous for early variety of cauliflower which reaches the market in the last week of September itself.Production of vegetables is well dispersed over the districts with a concentration of production in some particular districts. Apart from Patna and Nalanda where vegetable production is quite extensive, the other districts with high production shares in total vegetables production are Vaishali , Muzaffarpur , West Champaran , East Champaran , Katihar and Begusarai .

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