ONGOLE: The rising trend of tobacco prices in the last season has motivated farmers of Prakasam district to increase the crop acreage in the ensuing season. Traders purchased tobacco at Rs 260 a kg of grade 1 variety last year. Later, the price decreased to Rs 230 a kg. Despite the decline, Rs 230 a kg is a good price as traders offered Rs 169.92 a kg only for the crop grown in Southern Black Soils (SBS) region earlier.
Compared to average tobacco price of Rs 116.30 a kg in 2019-20, farmers got a good price of Rs 169.2 a kg last season (2021-22). Though the Tobacco Board is repeatedly requesting farmers to reduce the crop acreage and enhance the quality of produce, farmers are confident about the increase in price in the ensuing season and most of them have decided to increase the crop acreage to earn profits.
“We have been cultivating tobacco since a long time. We are planning to increase the crop area by 5 more acres as the prices are very good. We are hopeful of reaping good profits in the coming season,” M Srinivasa Rao, a farmer from Chimakurthy told TNIE.
Satisfied with the quality of the produce, the Tobacco Board has given permission for 89.35 million kg of production in Prakasam and Nellore districts limits of Southern Light Soils (SLS) and Southern Black Soils (SBS) regions for the season, which is around 8.20 million kg more than the previous years crop size.
As per the Tobacco Board data, 27,945 farmers are registered under all the 12 tobacco auction centres of the SLS and SBS region limits. Around 1,285 unauthorised barn are running in these two regions with a cultivation area of 32,665 and 20,570 acres respectively, which may face action from the Tobacco Board.