ONGOLE: Tobacco Board has proposed to shut down the Tangutur-2 auction platform in Prakasam as it plans to scale down production and purchase in view of tobacco’s reduced demand in the international market. The board also plans to improve manpower efficiency at its auction platforms.
On the other hand, growers are fearing that the move would only create more hurdles for them to sell the produce in future.Tobacco, one of the essential commercial crops cultivated in the district, is a source of livelihood for 75,000 farmers. A majority of the produce is sold and exported through the auction centres, as per the government rules. However, its global demand and the purchase volume are gradually decreasing.
The board had established 14 auction centres, two of which are in Nellore district, in the southern black soils (SBS) and southern light soils (SLS) regions. As part of the cost cutting measures, it, previously, closed the centres in Podili and Vellampalli. .
“Tangutur-2 auction centre is a small platform. In view of the reduced demand in the global market and the local situation, the board has taken the decision to shut down the platform. However, we are taking care of the farmers who are dependent on the centre. They will be shifted to another centre, distance of which will be similar to them as this centre’s. Stocks of this platform will be allotted to Kondepi, Tangutur-1 and Ongole-1 centres,” R Srinivasulu Naidu, regional manager, SBS region, told TNIE. He clarified there was no proposal to shut down any other auction centre.