ONGOLE: Even as tobacco auctions are progressing, farmers are reportedly dissatisfied with the prices being offered for their produce. At the Ongole-2 Tobacco Auction Centre, the growers from Naguluppalapadu, Obannapalem and other villages stalled the auction recently as their stocks were bought at low prices.
They said even the F1-grade produce was bought at a cheap rate by the agents and direct buyers.The auctions kicked off at all the 11 platforms under Southern Light Soil (SLS) and Southern Black Soil (SBS) regions. The board gave permission for the sale of 66 million kg of the produce against 88 million kg last season.
Though the board reduced the stock quantity available for auction, the farmers of the district did not oppose as most of them grew the grade-1 quality, and also because their counterparts in Karnataka got a maximum of Rs 220 per kg for the F1 grade produce in the auctions there. On Friday, the buyers offered an average price of Rs 151.33 per kg for the tobacco grade, and the highest bidding of Rs 165 per kg was offered at the Kondepi center.
“In the beginning, the buyers offered good prices for our stocks. Since the past few days, they have been offering Rs 160-Rs 175 for per kg. We demand that the Tobacco Board take control of the situation, and ask the buyers to offer us a decent amount for the Grade-1 produce,” V Prasad and Subba Reddy, representatives of the farmers, told TNIE.
Tobacco Board-Ongole (Southern Black Soils) regional manager R Srinivasulu Nayudu also said the buyers have now been offering Rs 20-Rs 30 less for per kg of tobacco stocks than they used to when the auctions began. “We have already discussed the issue with all the buyers and exporters, and hope that the issue will be settled in a few days.”