Tobacco farmers gherao MP, former MP

The start of tobacco auction season in Karnataka on Friday was marked by complaints of poor price offered for the commodity by traders.

Farmers gheraoed Mysuru MP Pratap Simha and former MP C.H. Vijayshankar at the auction platform in Periyapatna. They said the prices offered for tobacco during the last two years were very low, and demanded better and remunerative prices this year. They urged the leaders to prevail upon the traders to offer better prices.

Earlier in the morning, a customary pooja at the auction platforms in Periyapatna, Chilkunda and Hunsur in the presence of Tobacco Board Chairman Raghunadha Babu, Mr. Simha, Mr. Vijayshankar and other Board officials signalled the start the auction season.

A group of tobacco farmers including Lokesh Raj Urs from the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha expressed disappointment over the poor prices tobacco was fetching despite the increase in the input costs.

The tobacco auctioned on the first day of the season fetched the farmers around ₹186 per kg.

Board officials said the prices had remained low during the last two years as a large quantity of produce was low grade tobacco. The percentage of bright grade variety was very low.

However, President of Federation of Flue Cured Variety (FCV) Tobacco Growers Associations of Karnataka Javare Gowda said the quality of tobacco was good this year. Not only had the proportion of bright grade variety improved significantly this year, even the quantum of produce had dropped. Against a crop size of 97 million kg, the Board is expecting only around 75 to 80 million kgsdue to less than optimum rainfall this year.

“The increase in bright grade variety and the decrease in yield should ensure a better price this year”, Mr. Gowda said.

Sources in the Tobacco Board were also hopeful of farmers receiving a better price this year. Though the price offered was ₹186 per kg on Wednesday, Board officials pointed out that the first day’s price last year was ₹175 and expressed optimism that the prices will surely improve in the coming days with the participation of more traders.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 8:23:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/tobacco-farmers-gherao-mp-former-mp/article36655265.ece

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