VIJAYAWADA:Tobacco farmers from Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna and West Godavari districts have urged Union minister of state for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman to ensure that a price of Rs 125 per kg is offered to tobacco produce.
With tobacco market crashing, the farmers have made a beeline to a hotel here where Tobacco Board was holding a meeting with traders in the presence of the Union minister.
The farmers contended that the traders, after forming into a syndicate, were not offering even Rs 100 per kg with the result that it had become a graveyard market with no buyers and no sellers.
According to AP Rythu Sangham general secretary V Subba Rao and Praksam district unit secretary D Gopinath, farmers were offered a price of Rs 140 a kg last year but this year the traders had brought down the price to Rs 100 with an intention to buy the produce as and when the farmers resort to distress sale.
At present, not even half of the tobacco grown in AP has been sold. The Tobacco Board allowed farmers to produce 172 million kg this year but so far not even 46 million kg had been sold though auction platforms opened three months ago. “The farmer is suffering a loss of Rs 1 lakh per barn,” Subba Rao said.