Local farmers gather at Sajha Bazaar of Masuria on Monday to discuss their protests. Photo Courtesy: Pushpa Raj Joshi
KAILALI, Feb 4: Denied compensation, farmers, who faced huge loss due to failure of Garima brand of paddy seeds, are preparing to launch protest against the government.
A meeting of local farmers held at Sajha Bazaar of Masuriya on Monday formed a committee to prepare for the strike. They are preparing to organize a sit-in on Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives, Sudurpashchim Province, provinces on February 5 to draw the attention of the authorities toward their demand.
They have formed a protest committee – Garima Paddy Victim Struggle Association – under Basudev Guragain. According to Guragain, the farmers will hand over separate memorandums to the chief minister and agriculture minister to draw the provincial government's attention toward their demands.
"Many farmers have taken loan to buy paddy to feed their family for a year. It won't have happened if their paddy crop had not failed," Guragain added.
Chaukidhar Chaudhary, a farmer of Gauriganga Municipality-11, has borrowed money from to local cooperatives to buy paddy. He has purchased 14 quintals of paddy to feed his family by borrowing Rs 35,000 from Hariyali Agriculture Cooperative and Digo Development Cooperative. "I have to take loan even to feed my family because of crop failure," he added.
Tula Ram Jogi, a local farmer from Kailashpur, said farmers won't have to take loans had the government provided them with compensation on time.
Altogether 250 farmers in the municipality had planted Garima brand of paddy seeds this season.
Hari Prasad Tiwari, chairperson of Ward 9 of Chairperson of Gauriganga Municipality, farmers are approaching the ward office to get recommendation letter for compensation.
Local farmers had planted Garima seeds, which is approved by the government, as the variety is tasty. Sources say dealers of Renova Seed Science India Pvt Ltd of Hyderabad, India, which produces Garima seeds, provided high-quality seeds to concerned government agency for lab test, but distributed seeds of inferior quality to farmers.
Paddy farming is done in 120,000 hectares of land in Kailali and Kanchanpur districts. Farmers had planted Garima seeds in 653 hectares. Altogether 1,536 farmers in two districts are affected by the crop failure.