Tobacco growers have expressed displeasure over the reduced crop size for 2012-13 and appealed to A.H. Vishwanath, MP, to impress upon the Ministry of Commerce to increase it from 97.5 million kg to 106.7 million kg (the indent last year or demand for crop from the companies).

The Tobacco Board announced a couple of days ago that the crop size for the State had been fixed at 97.5 million kg against last year's 101.6 million kg. Most of the growers were sore that they were not consulted. They questioned the decision of the board, which fixed the crop size for Andhra Pradesh at 162 million kg as against the trade indent of 144 million kg for the current year. This was discriminatory, they said.

B.V. Javare Gowda, former member of the board, said that though 160 countries had signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control under the World Trade Organisation, the World Health Organisation insisted that only India phase out the crop by 2020. None of the major producers of tobacco in the world had reduced the crop size, they alleged.

Returns

Tobacco had an assured market and guaranteed payment to growers apart from loan facilities. The board should protect the interests of authorised growers in the State, he said.

The much hyped e-auction of the crop in the State had been delayed, Mr. Gowda said, questioning the board's silence over the issue.

He cautioned growers not to allow tobacco companies to exploit them during the auctions.

Murthy, a grower from Hunsur, was upset that the board did not consult growers before taking a decision. Board officials visiting the State claimed Rs. 85 lakh as tour bills alone over a one-year period, he alleged.

Chandre Gowda, another grower, stated that there were 57,000 authorised and 30,000 unauthorised growers in the State, and the production was bound to go beyond the fixed size.

H. Basavaraju criticised the reduction in the authorised crop size this year. The board had also increased the quantum of fine for excess production from 5 to 15 per cent, which was unfair.

Manju, another grower, said there was no viable alternative crop to tobacco.

Crops such as ginger and turmeric fetched poor returns owing to the low farm prices.

Balaraj wanted Mr. Vishwanath to take the growers' plea to the Commerce Ministry.


  • ‘Tobacco Board should protect the interests

    of authorised cultivators'

  • The much hyped e-auction of the crop in the State has been delayed: ex-board member


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