GUNTUR: Tobacco farmers in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday sought restrictions on the extent of the land to be brought under tobacco cultivation if the Tobacco Board can not ensure remunerative prices of their produce.
In a meeting with Tobacco Board officials, here Wednesday ahead of full board meeting scheduled for August 17 in Hyderabad, where decision for the extent of the tobacco crop will be taken, farmer said they were not satisfied with quantity permitted previous year, which was 120 million kilos.
Farmer representatives led by Baddi Reddy, a former board member demanded to know why there should be any restrictions and penalties for excess crop, when the officials are not able to make the production companies and exports honour their commitments.
Prior to the cultivation of tobacco every year, the Tobacco Board decided the quantity of the tobacco that can be cultivated based on the indent given by the manufacturers, exporters and traders. However, for the last few years, it was observed that indent is not being honoured or there has been no remunerative prices.
Farmers wanted the board officials to make those giving the indent spell out the price they are offering for the produce before placing the indent. They said without proper commitment on part of the trader on honouring their part of the agreement, farmers are suffering losses.
Farmer representatives told the board officials including incharge executive director CSS Patnaik, auction manager K Ravi Kumar, auction superintendent Maruthi Prasad who were present in the meeting that if they want to discourage tobacco cultivation, officials should give Rs 10 lakh per barn.