Mexico: Some farmers conned with counterfeit melon seeds

Melon producers in the municipalities of Viesca and Matamoros might have millions in losses that are yet to be quantified as they are suffering the consequences of a fraud. Producers bought melon seeds for planting that were supposed to be supported by a specialized and recognized trademark, which turned out to be fake.

The situation is such that losses may have extended to a total area of 
approximately 100 hectares, where the fruit's size was no bigger than a baseball.

"We were sold counterfeit seeds, the melons did not grow and we lost millions in seeds, crop costs, and now we're losing more money by not having a harvest," said Pedro Montoya, one of the many producers in San Juan de Villa Nueva, municipality of Viesca, affected by this problem.

He said that, since this year's melon average price had been low and producers had only made about four thousand pesos per ton, those 100 hectares planted with counterfeit seeds represent a loss of at least 20 million pesos that, in this case, they can no longer recover.

Reportedly, after seeing their melon crops were unsuccessful, the producers spoke to representatives of the Harris Moran company, the alleged distributors of the seeds purchased for their crops. However, the company clarified the producers had been victims of a fraud by a third party and pledged to investigate a possible plagiarism of their packaging and the usurpation of their brand.

They even offered to support the producers before the regional office of the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco), where they formalized the complaint against the retailer where they purchased the seed for planting. Representatives of the Government of Coahuila contacted those affected by the alleged fraud, with the intention of offering any alternate support to help them overcome the critical problem they are now facing.

Its worth noting that cases like this one are not covered by the insurance policies farmers have to protect their crops, as all the protection is designed against any climatic or biological hazards.


Source: oem.com.mx

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