Taimin group visits tobacco auction platform

Special Correspondent

Crop on southern black soils inspected

Good price because of low production elsewhere

ONGOLE: The Hong Kong-based Taimin group, which has expressed an intention to buy Indian tobacco, deputed a team to inspect the quality of tobacco grown in Guntur and Prakasam districts.

The team visited the tobacco auction platform at Throvagunta near here on Thursday, inspected the tobacco grown in southern black soils (SBS) and interacted with farmers.

Tobacco Board Chairman J Suresh Babu told the growers that the Central Government had agreed to reduce the penalty from 15 to 5 per cent on tobacco grown in excess of permitted quantity. But it had not issued the order till now in view of Election Code being implemented in Karnataka.

He assured the farmers that the Government would issue the order with retrospective effect soon after completion of elections in Karnataka.

He said that the Tobacco Board would now collect the penalty at the rate of 15 per cent of the sale proceeds and it would reimburse 10 per cent when once the order was issued. He asked the farmers to sell the excess produce too with confidence.

Mr Suresh Babu said that the farmers had been able to get an attractive price of Rs. 77 to Rs. 88 per kg of tobacco this year.

He attributed this to fall in production in major tobacco producing countries like Zimbabwe and Brazil and improved varieties grown in Southern Light Soils (SLS) and increased orders for export.

He however cautioned the farmers not to resort to excess production next year. He said that the situation may change next year and demand for Indian tobacco might fall in international market.

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