Farmers advised to move court in Garima paddy crop failure case

Chitwan, January 16

Farmers who cultivated Garima variety hybrid paddy will likely have to fight a court case against the seed suppliers to claim compensation.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development had given the responsibility to the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection to take action in connection with the Garima variety paddy not bearing grains.

A DNA test confirmed that the seed said to be that of the Garima variety paddy that was supplied to farmers was fake.

The ministry has forwarded the file to the Department to take action against the seed suppliers as per the Consumers Protection Act, 2018.

Department Director General Netra Prasad Subedi said the file received from the ministry was being studied.

According to him, the farmers will have to move the District Court of the concerned districts to claim compensation. He said the ministry, the department and the Seed Quality Control Centre will discuss the matter and finalise the strategy on how to move forward in this connection.

Subedi said the farmers will be possibly provided support coordinating with the Agriculture Knowledge Centre of the district concerned to sue the seed suppliers. He added that the company importing the seed to Nepal and distributors would be made to pay compensation in cheating case through court process and the Department would take action against them separately.

Director-general Subedi stated that initially it was said Garima variety paddy was cultivated in 13 districts, but it is confirmed now that the paddy was cultivated in 11 districts.

A meeting of the National Seed Board on December 20 had recommended to the ministry to take action against seed importers in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act. The ministry wrote to the department based on this decision.

In its letter, the ministry has asked the department to also evaluate the damage caused due to crop failure. The government had formed a Compensation Assessment Committee under the convenorship of the centre’s chief Madan Thapa. The committee has already submitted its report to the ministry after carrying out monitoring in the districts concerned.

The committee has recommended Rs 170 million compensation based on production cost of farmers in all the districts and Rs 230 million as compensation on grounds of quantity.