Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has written a letter to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar demanding the restoration of the market system so that more and more farmers can sell wheat and paddy at the Minimum Support Price (MSP). BKU has threatened to launch a considerable agitation if the demands are unmet.
Incidentally, RJD Ramgarh MLA Sudhakar Singh had recently resigned as Agriculture Minister as the Bihar CM did not consider his demands for the restoration of man. Bihar had a market system till 2006. There were about 100 mandis in the state.
In a letter to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar dated October 17, Chaudhary Rakesh Tikait, national spokesperson of farmer leader BKU, wrote: “This is to bring to your attention that farmers (in Bihar) are not getting an excellent platform to sell their grains. And they do not acquire reasonable prices for their products, and there have been no mandis in Bihar for 15-16 years. The farmers of Bihar are often forced to sell their grain through intermediaries at a price below the cost of cultivation. Tikait said that the condition of the farmers is getting worse as they do not have money to buy seeds and take care of their families.
” With no mandi, growers in Bihar frequently resettle to other countries to work as labour. The studies of the scholars coming from the family of Garmi are getting affected. The government should restore mandis in Bihar to ensure growers’ platforms and MSP. However, we will be forced to launch a bigger agitation,” said Tikait, If this isn’t done.
The RJD, which is in alliance, has always favoured the Andi system. An RJD leader said,” We can not attack our government, but Sudhakar Singh raised valid questions before relinquishing. Apart from man, we favour involving multiple agencies for procuring food grains against just one agency – Primary Agriculture Cooperative Credit Society (PACCS).
However, JD(U) national spokesperson KC Tyagi told The Deccan Era: “We are as concerned about farmers as anyone can be. The Mandi system was also heavily influenced by the culture of intermediaries, and this system also does not ensure MSP. We had opposed three agriculture laws which the Centre eventually withdrew.
Tyagi said that as per the latest NCRB reports, there is no case of farmer suicide in Bihar, and the state farmers also have the lowest loan liability in the country.