Importers of substandard Garima seeds fined Rs 3.12 million

Published On: February 18, 2020 10:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 18: The Department of Commerce Supplies and Consumer Protection has slapped a fine of Rs 3.12 million fine on various importers and traders of Garima seeds.

The Department has fined 17 importers and traders of Garima seeds after it carried out field inspection and supervision as per the Consumers Protection Act, 2075 BS.

Sunrise Agriculture Research Private Limited, Dang, Tanahun Seed Storage, Damauli, Jimal Seed Storage, Kapilvastu, Ghimire Agrovet, Kapilvastu, Laligurans Agrovet Centre, Dang, Swargadwari Agri Nepal, Dang, Janta Agrovet, Dang, Munal Agrovet Concern, Banke. Similarly, Srijana Vet Centre, Bardiya, Sikha Agro Centre, Bardiya, Khushi Ram Veterinary Centre, Bardiya, Lohati Agrovet Centre, Bardiya, R H Agrovet, Kailali, Kishan Agrovet Centre, Kailali, Prashant Agrovet Centre, Chitwan and Sulu Bhet Centre, Bardiya are the companies fined by the department who had imported sub-standard quality Garima seeds and seeds of other breed. However, the department has not fixed any fine and punishment on Tejal Agro Vet Centre, Dang.

“After the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development had given us the responsibility to take action, we had formed a team to carry out field inspection. As per the Consumer Protection Act, 2075 BS and our study, field inspection and proposal, we have fined the importers,” said Netra Prasad Subedi, director general of Department of Commerce Supplies and Consumer Protection, “We have received most of the fine from the importers and only few of them have yet to pay the fine.”

A DNA test confirmed that the seeds said to be that of the Garima variety paddy that was supplied to the farmers were substandard. The seed is produced by Renova Seed Science India Pvt Ltd of Hyderabad, India.

According to the officials of Department of Commerce Supplies and Consumer Protection, the department has fined Rs 300,000 to importers and Rs 200,000 to traders. The paddy was cultivated in 11 districts.

“Regarding the compensation, farmers will have to move the District Court of the concerned districts to claim for compensation,” said Subedi, “As far as I know about compensation, the government is in the process to make a decision about the compensation amount.”

The National Agricultural Research Center, which conducted the lab test of Garima seeds in October, concluded that the seeds used by farmers were substandard. Similarly, the Agricultural Knowledge Center, Chitwan, had also assessed losses on paddy crop and recommended to the government to provide justifiable compensation to the farmers.

A five-member committee led by Madan Thapa, member secretary of the National Seeds Board, reported that the use of substandard seeds damaged an estimated 8,500 tons of paddy in more than 17,000 hectares of land.

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