Pune: The District Consumer Forum has ordered a private firm and a retailer to jointly pay compensation of Rs 1 lakh to a farmer after he suffered losses in broccoli farming.
Manik Anant Thorat of Uruli Kanchan moved the forum against Known-You Seed India Pvt Ltd, Bhima Koregaon, and M/s Chandrashesh Traders, Phursungi. They were also ordered to pay Rs 15,000 towards litigation cost and mental agony.
After reading the company’s advertisement, Thorat’s son purchased broccoli seeds on February 1, 2017. He got the seedlings prepared from another firm and then transplanted them in his farm in Uruli Kanchan in March.
“I had given water and fertiliser as per instructions but 90 per cent of them didn’t develop. I approached the retailer as well as the firm from where I had prepared the seedlings, but they didn’t do anything. I lodged a complaint with the block development officer (BDO) in June. On July 3, the grievances redressal committee and sub-divisional agriculture officer inspected my farm and submitted a report on July 27. I suffered a huge loss and sent notices to all the firms for compensation, but in vain,” Thorat submitted in his complaint filed with the forum in December 2017.
The seed company officials appeared before the forum and rejected the claims. “As per the tag on the packet, the seeds have to be planted in Kharif and Rabi seasons only, but he didn’t do as instructed and hence the seedlings didn’t develop properly. As per the report of the agriculture officer, there was no fault with the seeds. Therefore, we are not liable for payment of compensation,” the firm submitted.
However, the forum, comprising President MK Walchale and Members SK Pacharbe and Shubhangi Dunakhe, found deficiency in services of the two firms. “If the seeds are to be planted in Kharif and Rabi seasons only, then it should not be sold in other periods. Even it is mentioned on the tag, the firms should have told the complainant about it. The complainant is also responsible for his loss to some extent as he sowed the seeds without having proper knowledge,” the judgement states.