Thrissur: The Consumer Forum has ordered Rs 60,000 compensation to a farmer from Kasaragod after the ‘nenthran’ banana saplings which he bought through Horticulture Mission later turned out to be ‘robusta’ variety.

Of the 150 banana saplings he bought, 110 were robusta saplings. He realized this at the time of harvest.

Consequently, the farmer – K P Gopalan - lodged a complaint with the Consumer Forum. Officials from the Vigilance Department too met the farmer and collected details.

Gopalan started farming on land taken for lease for five years. He told the Vigilance officials that he had dug a borewell for irrigation purposes.

The agricultural officers in the region too told the Vigilance sleuths that several farmers had come up with the same complaint. The inquiry team found that many farmers gave the harvested robusta bananas as feed for domestic animals as they could not sell them off.

The farmers used to get Rs 8 per kilogram for robusta.

The inquiry report of the Vigilance also recommends authorities to charge the loss incurred by Gopalan from the officials responsible for the mix up.

Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar said strong action will be taken against erring officials. The Vigilance Wing of the police will inquire into the alleged irregularity.