COVID 19: Marketing Linkage Comes Out Boon For Farmers

Jawad Hussain says the help from Kaushalya Foundation at the time of pandemic is like help from heaven.

It is very hard to describe the plight of farmers when he is not able to sell his produces at good rate. After working fingers to the bone ryots get their precious produce, which is no less than gold to them.

Bahuarwa is diverse village as people from different background and religion lives there. Farming is the only mean of livelihood for the villagers and produces include cereals, pulses and oil seeds.

Jawad Hussai, 55, hails from Bahuarwa village, around 4 km from Chiraiya block in East Champaran district, Bihar. He had successfully sold his 255 kg of masoor lentils in the lockdown, when no one was able to reach farmer dues to travel restrictions.

Like other farmers also Jawad does farming and earns the livelihood for his family of seven.

Same as always, he planted wheat and masoor in his 15 khatta of fields, which includes his own and leased one, hopeful of earning money by selling the produces.

Immediately after threshing of the grains, lockdown was announced all over the country and hence begin the difficulties of all farmers. The nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in severe labour shortages, transport impediments, and reduced market access, leaving thousands of farmers in the lurch. Though the Indian government made it a point to relax some of the restrictions for the farming sector, the community is still striving to cope with the losses.

Despite the bountiful produces Jawad was not able to sell his wheat and lentils at proper rate. According to a report published by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), 70 percent of the country’s population is known to be dependent on agriculture. The strict measures undertaken to encourage social distancing amid the pandemic, though justified, have left a majority of the farmers looking for help.

Another problem which Jawad was facing was transportation facilities because all entry and exit were closed to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

A helping hand

Jawad is member of a group of 30 farmers formed by Kaushalya Foundation, which is working with the villagers from last three years for ryots’ upliftment. Under the pulse project Kaushalya Foundation has made a farmers’ company named as Champaran Producer Krishak Company.

Jawad Hussain came to know about the foundation works and consulted them for the help. The non-profit organisation earlier decided to buy the masoor lentils from farmers at good rate because local market was buying the lentils at lower rate than usual.

“Due to lockdown we are facing many problems and local market is also buying our produces at lower rate which is not sufficient for our livings. Even if some farmers are ready to sell their grains merchants are asking us to take the cash after 10-15 days,” said Jawad in grief.

Deeply in sorrow he further added that we are anyhow taken loans for our daily expenses, and now we are not able to get more loans also.

Kaushalya Foundation with its Farmers’ Producer Organisation Champaran Krishak Producer Company bought all of his 255 kg of masoor at the rate of 62 per kg for which Jawad got Rs 15,810 as cash in hand.

“The help from Champaran krishak Producer Company in these difficult times is like a blessing for us,” shared happy Jawaid. He also thanked Kaushalya Foundation for extending the support.