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`Tobacco as pesticide not viable option'

Our Bureau

HYDERABAD, April. 17

DR Yelamanchili Sivaji, former MP, today felt that alternative use of tobacco as pesticide was not a viable proposition for tobacco growers and asked scientists not to encourage it.

He was speaking on `Prospects of Indian Tobacco in 21st Century' at a workshop on `Agricultural Policies for the 21st Century - FromVision to Action'.

Stating that the global tobacco business is controlled by a few operators, Dr Sivaji, also a member on the board of Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, said farmers got only 70 cents a kg as against $4 in the US and $2 in Zimbabwe.

He asked the Centre to help tobacco growers "either through promoting exports by identifying opportunities or assist financially in taking up alternative crops.''

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