Andhra Pradesh: Consumer forum orders Mahyco-Monsanto to pay compensation for Bt cotton flop Print E-mail
Wednesday February 1 2006

Monsanto told to shell out fine

Guntur, Jan. 31: A district consumer forum here has ordered Mahyco-Monsanto to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre to seven farmers of Jaggapuram village who lost their Bt Cotton crop. The forum was chaired by Mr K. Mahalakshmi Rao, Mr S. Sivaramakrishna and Ms Rachel Chukka De-vavaram. Farmers' counsel Y. Ramesh Babu said the farmers filed the case against the managing director and officials of Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (India) Ltd.

The farmers had purchased MECH 12- BT seed at Rs 1,600 for 450 grams. The crop failed at the flowering stage and the farmers got three quintals per acre as against the promised 15 to 20 quintals. The farmers complained in vain to the agriculture joint director and then mo-ved the consumer forum. After hearing both parties, the forum ordered Mahyco to pay compensation with 9 per cent interest from the date of complaint.

Speaking to this correspondent, complainant Pelluri Sivaprasada Rao said that they had approached the forum "in spite of discouragement from farmers and agricultural officials.' The other complainants were Mr P. Srikrishnamu-rthy, Mr B. Jeevan Kumar, Mr B. Koteswara Rao, Mr B. Lakshmi Narayana, Mr P. Narayana Rao and Mr P. Kotilingam. The territory sales manager of Mayco-Monsanto and local traders of the seed, Srinivasa Trad-ers, refused to comment.

Previously, agriculture commissioner Poonam Ma-lakondaiah had ordered the company to pay Rs 3 crore compensation to farmers who lost their Bt cotton crop in Warangal, Nalgonda and Khammam districts. Mahyco-Monsanto challenged the order in court. The government, which has dragged Monsanto to the Monopolies and Restri-ctive Trade Practices Commission, use the forum judgement to fight its case.