Unleashing the Maize Potential of Bihar
Agriculture minister Prem Kumar underlined the need for value addition in maize for making its cultivation more profitable for farmers and also to meet the future market needs. He shared his thoughts while speaking at a conference on 'Unleashing Maize Potential of Bihar', which was jointly organised by FICCI and Bihar Agricultural Growth and Reform Initiative (Bagri) on 21 August 2018 in Patna.
'Bihar is the third largest producer of maize after Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the country. Bihar has a high maize productivity of 3,904kg/ha, which is more than the national average of 2,889kg/ha. Now, the time has come to convert this marketable surplus of maize into value-added product so that not only consumers benefit but also farmers get a better price for their produce,' he added.
Sudhir Kumar, Principal Secretary Agriculture, Government of Bihar, stated that Bihar has a unique characteristic when it comes to maize. 'It's important to work on improving maize value chains. The state government aims to make Bihar the new maize bowl of India and suggested that efficiency of maize value chains can be increased through FPOs and maize exports in the form of sweet corn and baby corn should be encouraged,' Kumar said.
TR Kesavan, Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & President & Chief Operating Officer, TAFE, mentioned that an effective implementation of Maize Vision Program and maize-based farm machinery banks would be big game changers for strengthening maize value chain in Bihar.
Dr. Prem Kumar, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Bihar, addressing the conference.