Bihar Mokamataal village, Patna Anand Murari, 52
A medium-sized farmer in Mokamataal, Murari faces a curious dilemma. His harvest of wheat and dalhan (pulses) is ready, but he wants to sell the wheat to the government, which is offering an MSP of Rs 1,925 per quintal, and the masoor dal in the open market as the rate there is higher than the MSP.
“I want logistics support from the state to sell the dalhan. Also, the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society (PACS), which procures wheat from the panchayats, is playing truant,” he says.
Bihar cooperative minister Rana Randhir Singh says the farmers have to register with the PACS. “The 8,000- plus PACS in the state will ensure every grain of wheat the farmers sell is purchased.
Procurement will continue till July 15,” he says. The lockdown has also forced farmers like Murari to feed the labourers who had come from other districts and Jharkhand. The harvest is over, but they are stuck because of the lockdown.
“There are close to 100,000 labourers in Mokama today. Like every year, they arrived in early March for harvesting the 71,000 hectare of farmland here. But now, harvesting is over and they are sitting idle. The government should arrange their return.”