Located in the eastern part of India, Bihar is one of the fast growing states of India. country. Bihar's economic history takes back to Mauryan Empire which depended on agriculture for the main source of income. Though third largest in terms of population, 58% of the total population is below the age of 25, which is highesr than any other state in India. Though the state as a whole has one of the lowest GDP per capita in India, there are some pockets with higher per capita income. Southern half of the state and the capital city, Patna is one such region.
Agriculture is the back bone of Bihar's economy. It is the primary means of livelihood for more than 81% of the population, which is even more than the national average. The main agricultural products produced in Bihar are: litchi, guava, mango, pineapple, brinjal, lady's finger, cauliflower, cabbage, rice, wheat, sugarcane etc. Though good soil and favourable climatic conditions favour agriculture, there are certain hurdles to leap over. First of all, the state government. does not have a good policy encourage and promote the farmers to use quality seed of improved varieties. Also, there is a serious lack of electricity because of which the farmers cannot depend on electric supply for irrigation and other related operations instead; they are depending on diesel engines. Though Bihar enjoys good rainfall, it has to encounter flood threat as well, which may drain off the fertile soil, if not conserved properly. Drainage and water management programs should also be introduced to check the water logging and soil erosion problems which possibly have serious turn in future and may make it difficult to maintain the fertility of the soil.
Sugar: With amazing effort worth appreciation, the Bihar state government has become successful in establishing a strong base and flourished growth for the sugar industry in Bihar. Though the climatic conditions support sugarcane cultivation, the state never had a strong backing for this industry. Now, with the support of government this industry has flourished in the state providing employment opportunities to many people, especially in the rural areas. Further, it helps mobilizing rural resources as well. Samastipur, West Champaran, Gopalganj, Sitamarhi, Dulipati, Chorma, Supaul are the places where the sugar mills are located. This industry can be divided in two sectors: Organized and Unorganized. Unorganized sector comprises traditional sweeteners manufacturers and the second one is the organized sector that consists of sugar factories. The traditional sweeteners industries which produce khandsari and gur are part of the rural industry and these products are consumed by the rural people.
Brewery sector: Brewery is emerging as a major industry in Bihar. There are many domestic and foreign firms involved in setting up production units throughout the state. The major firms involved in this industry are United Breweries Group, Cobra Beer and Carlsberg Group (Danish Brewery Company). These companies have plans to set up new farms in Patna and Muzaffarpur.
Leather: Bihar is rich in cattle population and hence, leather industry is deeply rooted deep in the state. Major part of this leather goes to the footwear artisans. There are private tanneries as well. Strong traditional clusters are located in Bhagalpur, Gaya, Nalanda, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Siwan, and Patna.
Small Scale Industries: Small scale industries contribute much to state's economic development. The total investment in this sector is Rs. 88.75 crore.
Information Technology: IT sector is in its growth phase. Bihar got its first Techno Park in 2008 in Patna, which triggered a fast growth in this sector.
Fishing: Blessed with rich river beds, Bihar is one of the best fishing grounds in India. Rohu, cattla and hilsa are abundant in River Ganges. Fishing is seasonal; it begins in October, peak months being December, January and February. Apart from the major source River Ganges, there are numerous rivers, streams, ponds and low lying fields where water accumulates during rainy season which is then used for development of fishery. The Fisheries Development Schemes are managed by the District Fisheries office located in Patna. This department functions under the administrative control of the Director of Fisheries, Government of Bihar.