After a seven-year fight, two Haryana farmers have been granted a compensation of almost Rs. 5 lakh from cooperative giant Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), which sold them defective guar seeds that led to 70% crop failure. The farmers won their case at the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) earlier this month.
Vinod Kumar and Vijay Kumar, both farmers from the Shahpur village in the Hisar district of Haryana, had purchased 180 kg of guar seeds manufactured by IFFCO subsidiary Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative (IFFDC) in 2012. Guar, or cluster beans, is grown not just for the vegetable, but for its gum, which is one of India’s major agricultural exports to the United States. Haryana is the second largest producer in the country.
According to the farmers, IFFDC assured them that the guar seeds would give proper yield of 8 to10 quintals per acre. Despite following proper instructions and procedure, even ploughing their fields thrice for better yield, “the crop was not up to the mark”, the farmers said.