Ongole: Next production policy should support growers says Tobacco farmers
The Black Soil Tobacco Farmers Welfare Association members from Prakasam and Nellore districts speaking at the press meet in Ongole on Thursday
Ongole: The Black Soil Tobacco Farmers Welfare Association members from the Prakasam and Nellore districts demanded that the Tobacco Board see the production policy for the next year is supportive of the growers. They also demanded that the government continue purchasing the leaf through MARKFED for the next year also.
In the press meet held at the Ongole MP office, the association leaders Mareddy Subrahmanyam Reddy, Pammi Bhadrireddy, Veddela Varaprasad, Boddapati Brahmaiah, Abburi Seshagiri informed that the production policy meeting for the next year is scheduled on August 5 at the Tobacco Board office in Guntur and they would decide the quantity and extent of the crop to be produced according to the area.
They explained that the production policy meeting would be conducted usually after the completion of the auction of tobacco and to receive the indents for the next year from the merchants. But this year the meeting is being held in the middle of the auction process, as the merchants are not involving actively in the purchasing, they said.
The farmers said that due to the untimely rains and delay in the auction due to the Coronavirus, the leaf turned to be low grade and the merchants are not showing any interest in the purchasing, by quoting that they didn't have any orders.
They said that after their plight is explained to the chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, he came forward to save farmers from the crisis and ordered the MARKFED to purchase the tobacco. They said that, following the orders of the chief minister, the MARKFED has given Rs 10 crore as the bank guarantee at each auction center and purchased about 5 million kilograms up to now and provided better prices to the low-grade tobacco. They alleged that though the merchants have foreign orders, they are in a wait and see mode to reduce the prices further.
The farmers' leaders demanded that the tobacco board should estimate the total tobacco purchased by the MARKFED and reduce the same quantity for production in the next year. Also, they demanded the merchants from the companies to buy the tobacco purchased by the MARKFED by paying an extra of Rs 5 per KG and reduce the same in their indents.
They also demanded that the board impose penalties on the companies that have given indent, but not purchased the quantity of tobacco.