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Agri-Biz & Commodities - Tobacco


Tobacco Board postpones decision on Karnataka crop

Ch.R.S. Sarma

Guntur , May 5

THE production committee of the Tobacco Board has deferred its decision on the Karnataka crop size. The committee is likely to meet again on the subject after the election results are announced in both the States.

The move to defer a decision on the crop size followed the storming of the Tobacco Board office by farmers here on Wednesday in protest against the low prices on the floors in the southern black soils. They were also objecting to the possible regularisation of a large number of unlicensed barns in Karnataka in the event of fixing a large crop size for that State.

The farmers led by the board members, Mr Ch. Ranga Rao and Mr Bangaru Babu, and also Dr Y. Sivaji, President of the AP Virginia Tobacco Growers' Association, registered their protest with Mr K.G.B.V Subrahmanyam, Executive Director.

They complained that the prices were going down all the time on the AP auction floors and the prices would be further depressed, if a huge crop size (around 74 million kgs as indicated by the Indian Tobacco Association) were to be fixed for Karnataka for the current season. It would also entail regularisation of a large number of unlicensed barns (over 20,000) in that State, to which Andhra Pradesh farmers were opposed.

Mr Chowdaiah and other board members from Karnataka said the board should not defer the decision on crop size any more, as already the nurseries were getting ready.

They also said that when there was demand for Karnataka crop in the international market, as stated by the association, the board should fix the crop size accordingly and allow them to grow 70-80 million kg.

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