Andhra Pradesh

Tobacco growers see a ray of hope

Traders offer premium rate for different grades in Prakasam district

The market sentiment in the traditional tobacco growing areas in Prakasam district has improved for the better as the traders offered premium rates for different grades of flue cured Virginia tobacco, including F1 and F2 varieties, on Tuesday.

A high price of ₹202 per kg was offered for a bright grade variety in Kandukur reviving hopes among farmers to at least break even now given the lacklustre market condition prevailing till a fortnight ago.

The marginal excise duty hike on cigarettes in the Central budget augured well for the growers who had been bearing the brunt in the wake of increase in duty in the past . “We hope that the industry will offer a better price for the produce especially for the low grade varieties from now on at least,” say a group of farmers at the Vellampalli II auction platform.

“With the exporters turning active, low grade varieties too attracted buyers in a broad range of ₹80 to ₹106. But there are no takers for Dark Greens so far,” say sources in Tobacco Board.

Plea on average price

Meanwhile, the Vellampalli II Tobacco Growers’ Association president N. Chimpriya has pleaded for an average price of ₹100 per kg for low grade varieties taking into consideration the additional expenditure incurred in providing life-saving irrigation through water tankers as severe drought hit productivity this year. Those who went for cultivation of ‘organic tobacco’ on a pilot basis in the areas coming under the Southern Black Soil (SBS) and Southern Light Soil (SLS) auction platforms are a happier lot as their produce was lapped by cigarette manufacturers and exporters offering 10% more price than the prevailing market rate. “Bright grade varieties fetch on an average ₹190 to ₹200 per kg,” says a progressive farmer, V.V. Prasad, who has adopted Zero-Based Natural Farming(NBNF) technique in his farm in Mangamoor to cut down costs on the one hand and get a premium price for his produce at a time when drought hit productivity in most of the farms this year.

He had used pheromone traps to ward off pest attack in his farm, where cow products have been liberally used in preparation of fertilisers and pesticides. Farmers should focus on producing tobacco free of pesticide residue and non-tobacco related material insisted upon by importers, say Indian Tobacco Association sources.

Tobacco Board sources say of the 69.02 million kg of tobacco marketed so far, bright grade varieties (22.16 million kg) fetched on an average 167.05 per kg, medium grade varieties (23.74 million kg) attracted buyers at an average price of ₹135.38 per kg and low grade varieties (23.12 million kg) at an average price of ₹93.75 per kg.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 7:18:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tobacco-growers-see-a-ray-of-hope/article28336251.ece

Next Story