When 2020 began no one has thought that the year will bring another kind of issue for the farmers in Bihar. Initial days of summer were difficult times for the ryots as pandemic COVID-19 came with a lockdown all over the country with strict rules and restrictions.
Since most of these markets saw a massive fall in the number of customers and were unable to transport their produce from the peripheral villages to the urban centres with transportation networks severely hit, they would fear that their crops will rot away and their livelihoods would remain damaged for months to come.
One such story comes from the Barajairam village, which is located in Chiraiya block of Bihar, where most of the farmers earn their livelihood from farming. The village does vegetable farming at big scale. With the effort taken from Kaushalya Foundation along with Rajalal Prasad and his group members of farmers in the village took sigh of relief as their vegetables were sold in the Motihari market. In a country where one-seventh of the annual GDP is composed of agriculture, any kind of negative on farming is sure to have damaging consequences for the economy, as well. Rajalal Prasad like other marginal farmers earns his livelihood by selling his farm produces in nearby market like other marginal farmers in the village. He has total seven members in the family, in which his two sons work as a driver, but due to lockdown in the month of March their earning was also stopped. Rajalal produces vegetables in total 21 khatta of land, in which he owns six khatta of land and has taken 15 khatta on lease.
Kaushalya Foundation is working in the Barajairam village from last 3.5 years under pulse project. A group of 40 members, who are villagers of Barajairam, is also associated with the project. Rajalal Prasad is one of the members of the group and all the other farmers are also vegetable farmers like former.
Framers were in distress because due to lockdown vegetables were being not sold in the market and started rotting in the field itself. Hunger and starvation like situation were prevailing in the village due to no income. Then Rajalal Prasad called up meeting with other group members associated with Kaushalaya Foundation to discuss marketing of the vegetables in Motihari market.
There were questions raised by other farmers in the discussing like how transporting will be done, who will take care of marketing, how vegetables will be sold and others. Rajalal, a leading farmer, came forward and took all the loads on his shoulder and made group members to trust him on the issue.
After Rajalal’s request Kaushalya Foundation helped the farmers of Bararjairam village in vegetable marketing. The organisation took responsibility all the concerned issues of the farmers and move forward with the work.
Since then Rajalal sold approximately 20,696.5 kg of ladyfingers in the Motihari market with the intervention of Kaushalya Foundation.
According to the Rajalal approx. 40 to 50 farmers were benefitted with the vegetable marketing in this pandemic situation.
In these difficult situation Rajal becomes a role model for other farmers in the village.
After the appreciable work he was also honoured by the other villagers and all the group members thanked Kaushalya Foundation for helping the farmers economically and showing the right way for selling the veggies.