Bihar Economic Survey (Ch-3)

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👉🏻Also Read|Bihar Economic Survey (Ch-1)

Note: Chapter-2 not important for exam.



  • Around 88.7 percent of the state’s population reside in rural areas.
  • Around 74 percent of the workforce in Bihar depend on agricultural and allied activities for their livelihood (Census of India, 2011).
  • Agricultural sector contributes about 20 percent to the state’s GSDP.

Agro-Climatic Profile of Bihar

  • Located in the eastern part of India, Bihar has an area of 93.6 lakh hectares, accounting for nearly 3 percent of the country’s total geographical area.
  • Kharif, Rabi and Zaid are the three agricultural seasons in Bihar.
  • Northern Bihar receives water from the Himalayan rivers and is largely flood prone. The south of Bihar benefits from the rivers of central India, but it is prone to drought.


Water Resources in Bihar

  • Bihar’s agriculture is mainly rainfed, drawing its water resources from south-west monsoons and only around 57 percent of the cultivated area in the state is irrigated.
  • Along with the river Ganges, the tributaries of Gandak, Ghaghra, Burhi Gandak, Kosi, Mahananda, Karmanasa, Sone, Punpun, Phalgu, Sakri and Kiul contribute towards availability of water in Bihar for agricultural and non- agricultural purposes.


Rainfall Scenario in Bihar

  • About 84.9 percent of this rainfall was largely due to the south-west monsoons, occurring during the period of June to September.
  • Winter rain, hot weather rain and north-west monsoons together accounted for the remaining 15.1 percent of the total rainfall in the state.
  • The district of Kishanganj continued to record the highest rainfall in 2018 due to the southwest monsoons at 1358 mms, while the lowest rainfall was observed in the district of Jehanabad (395 mms).

Land Resources

  • As a landlocked state, Bihar’s total geographical area stands at 9.4 million hectares, while its share in country’s population is around 8.6 percent.

Pattern of Land Utilisation

  • The area under forests as a proportion of total area has remained constant at 6.6 percent over the last 5 years at 6.22 lakh hectares.
  • Barren and unculturable land: 4.6 %
  • Land under tree crops: 2.6 %
  • Fallow land: 1.3 %
  • Water bodies: 3.8 %
  • The cropping intensity in the state has increased marginally from 1.44 in 2012-13 to 1.45 in 2016-17.
  • Overall, about 56.55 percent of the land was under cultivation in Bihar during 2016-17.
  • The net sown area of top five districts:
  1. Buxar (86.8 %)
  2. Nalanda (77.1%)
  3. Madhepura (74.4%)
  4. Bhojpur (72.4%)
  5. Siwan (72.3%)
  6. Lowest: Jamui (27.4%)
  • Cropping intensity was the highest in Araria (2.05) while the lowest in Nawada (1.12) during 2015-16.

Landholdings in Bihar

  • Bihar is the third populous state in India and having a population density of 1106 persons per sq. km in 2011.
  • About 91.2 percent of Bihar’s farm households are marginal (holdings of less than 1 hectare).
  • The average land holding size is very small in Bihar at 0.39 hectare in 2015-16.

Cropping Pattern

  • The cropping pattern, nearly unchanged over the years, reveals that Bihar is primarily a cereal economy, with more than 85 percent of its gross cropped area under cereals.
  • Despite the emphasis on the need to increase acreage on pulses for ensuring nutritional security, there has been a gradual decrease in this acreage from 7.1 percent in 2012-13 to 6.8 percent during 2017-18.
  • During 2017-18, among the major cereals, productivity of maize was the highest at 4607 kg per hectare, while that of rice was the lowest at 2447 kg per hectare.


  • Highest productivity of rice: Bhojpur (4054 kg per hectare) and the
  • Lowest levels of productivity of rice: Muzaffarpur (1327 kg per hectare).
  • Highest production of rice: Rohtas
  • Lowest Production of rice: Sheohar
  • In case of Wheat production, top three districts:
  1. Rohtas
  2. E. Champaran
  3. Buxar
  • In terms of Wheat productivity, the top 3 districts:
  1. Patna
  2. Samastipur
  3. Madhepura
  • In case of Maize production, top 3 districts:
  1. Katihar
  2. Samastipur
  3. Khagaria
  • In terms of Maize productivity, top 3 districts:
  1. Katihar
  2. Purnea
  3. Samastipur
  • In case of Pulse production, top 3 districts:
  1. Patna
  2. Aurangabad
  3. Nalanda
  • The highest productivity was recorded in Saran at 1960 kg per hectare, while the lowest one was recorded in Purnea at 475 kg per hectare.
  • More than 55 percent of the total sugarcane production in the state came from the district of West Champaran.
  • The districts of West Champaran, East Champaran and Gopalganj together accounted for about 78.1 percent of Bihar’s total sugarcane production and they account for 76.3 percent of the total area under sugarcane.
  • Sugarcane productivity in Patna district was the highest at 92.14 tonnes per hectare and the lowest in Buxar at 48.83 tonnes per hectare.
  • The scheme of Mukhyamantri Ganna Vikas Yojana was launched to provide subsidy to the tune of Rs. 160 per quintal (for SC/ST Rs. 200 per quintal) to farmers on purchase of certified sugarcane seeds for a maximum of 2.5 acres.
  • Horticulture sector, which includes fruits and vegetables, has been a major driver of agricultural growth in Bihar.
  • Bihar’s ‘shahi’ litchi and ‘malda’ mango are well known in the country for their taste and flavour. Nearly 40 percent of the total litchi production in the country is from Bihar.
  • The production of major fruits in Bihar in 2017-18 was banana (15.51 lakh tonnes), mango (14.81 lakh tonnes), guava (3.74 lakh tonnes), litchi (2.34 lakh tonnes).
  • The highest share in acreage among the fruits is seen in case of mango, which accounted for 49.4 percent of the total area in 2017-18.
  • In case of production, the share of bananas was the highest at 36.7 percent of the total fruit production.


Agricultural Inputs

  • Madhepura ranked the highest in overall consumption of fertilizers at 2.87 lakh tonnes and Sheohar ranked the lowest at 0.19 lakh tonnes.
  • In 2017-18, nearly 65.7 percent of the total fertilizers was consumed in northern Bihar.
  • Nearly 60 percent of the fertilizer consumption in Bihar is during rabi season.
  • For promotion of organic farming, farmers have been identified in villages along the river Ganges in the districts of Patna, Nalanda, Bhagalpur, Vaishali, Samastipur, Begusarai, Lakhisarai, Khagaria and Munger.
  • Agriculture and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA) has been entrusted as the certifying agency for organic produce.
  • The share of three different sources of agricultural credit has been — Commercial Banks (58.7 percent), RRBs (35.3 percent) and CCB (6.0 percent) in 2017-18.
  • Thus, commercial banks met mostly the growing demands of agricultural credit in Bihar in the last five years.
  • The contribution of livestock sector and fisheries to state’s GSDP stood at 5.30 and 1.53 percent, respectively during 2017-18.


  • Bihar has around 3.76 percent (352.37 thousand hectares) of its total geographical area endowed with water resource.
  • Three leading districts in terms of fish production in 2017-18 are Madhubani (65.7 thousand tonnes), Darbhanga (54.0 thousand tonnes) and East Champaran (51.62 thousand tonnes).
  • For fish seeds, three leading districts are Darbhanga (1750 lakhs), Madhubani (1626 lakhs) and East Champaran (731 lakhs) during 2017-18.

Dairy Farming

  • The major source of milk production in the state is cows which accounted for nearly 58.6 percent of the total milk production, followed by buffaloes (39.2 percent) and goat (2.2 percent).

👉🏻Also Read|Bihar Economic Survey (Ch-1)