Tobacco Board chief inaugurates new scheme at Tangutur

The maiden E-auction introduced across the tobacco auction platforms this season will enable farmers to get better price for their produce, Tobacco Board chairman K.Gopal said as auctions commenced in four auction platforms in the Ongole region of the Board on Thursday.

Talking to reporters here, the chairman who inaugurated e-auctioning in Tangatur I platform, said ''it just takes five seconds to auction a bale with buyers keying in the bid price in hand-held machines''.

Highlight the advantages of e-auction system, he said it would help reduce duration of auctioning period and ensure transparency and accountability as well, he added.

Dr.Gopal interacted with farmers on fields and at curing centres on his first visit to the Ongole region of the Board after assuming office.

Giving a patient hearing to a delegation of farmers cutting across party lines, he assured agriculturists to take up their concerns with the Commerce Ministry.

The Board would provide them with latest international trends in tobacco cultivation for them to make the most of market conditions, he said.

The chairman, who inspected the new e-auction platform under construction in Kandukur along with Executive Director C.V.Subba Rao, urged ryots to strictly adhere to the crop size fixed by the Board in their own interest and keep abreast with latest agronomic practices to cut costs.

Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangam district secretary N.Ranga Rao wanted the Board to intervene to create buoyancy in the market with the offer price stuck between Rs 120 and Rs 124 per kg for F-1 grade at the beginning stage itself even with farmers adhering to the crop size of 170 million kg.

The price should go up to Rs 140 to Rs 145 for the ryots to make good the losses suffered in the last three seasons, he opined.

Auctions were opened on Thursday at Ongole-II, Tangutur-I, Tangutur-II and Kondepi.