Tarai maize farmers seek compensation

KATHMANDU: A team of farmers today visited parliament’s development committee and informed its chairman Jitendra Sonar about the loss from the maize crop due to poor yield in five Tarai districts.

Farmers from Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Parsa and Nawalparasi have urged the government to provide compensation at the earliest possible.

Chairman Sonar expressed commitment to the farmers that the committee would take up their concerns and instruct the government to do the needful.

Hazi Rasul Ansari, chairman of the Central Struggle Committee for Farmers’ Rights and Welfare, claimed that the farmers of the five districts had to face a loss of around Rs 8 billion after the maize crop spread over 41,000 hectares yielded nothing.

Dr Hari Dahal, spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, however, claimed the affected area covered only 26,000 hectares.

The farmers blamed the government for not properly checking the quality of seeds while importing them from hybrid seed companies in India. Bara is the most adversely affected district, where the maize crop spread over 20,000 hectares did not yield corn.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has already announced relief for the victims.

Dr Dahal said the ministry had moved a proposal to the cabinet seeking relief package for the victims.

The struggle committee has already put forth 18-point demand before the ministry to address their agriculture related concerns.