A rice farmer is counting massive losses after losing 500 acres of rice to herbicides claimed to have expired.
Sources intimate that in September last year, Henry Dabanja purchased 10 boxes and 80 liters of herbicides worth more than Shs4.5 million from an Agrovet in Uganda.
His aim was to use the herbicides to control weeds on his rice farm in Nwoya District where he invested more than Shs1.3 billion.
Unfortunately, the herbicides were ineffective which resulted in the loss of his plantation. The affected Dabanja has since sued Syova Seeds at the High Court in Kampala, seeking to recover more than Shs2b in compensation for the loss they allegedly caused him.
Further, sued the Attorney General, seeking the court’s declaration that the Commissioner Crop Inspection and certification in the Agriculture ministry.
According to Dabanja on August 10, 2020, he leased 1,000 acres of land at Dog Acwa, Bar Jeere Parish, Lungulu Sub County, Nwoya District for rice farming to which he negotiated and secured financing from the Masindi Farmers’ Association.
Court documents indicate Dabanja cleared and planted rice on the 500 acres of land and that upon maturity, he had projected to harvest rice worth more than Shs1.3b with the ready market from the farmers’ association.
“On September 14, 2021, the plaintiff (Dr. Dabanja) bought 10 boxes each containing 10 bottles of one liter(100 liters) of trash 56-EC from the defendant company’s branch (Syova seeds) at Kawempe worth Shs2.5m,” the court documents read in part.
Further, it alleged that on September 30, Dr. Dabanja bought another 80 liters of the same herbicide from the Syova Seeds branch at container village worth Shs2m, which he applied on the rice for the second time but it was never effective which raised suspicion.