Flue-cured tobacco growers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh are facing a disastrous predicament, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter quoting the member of parliament, Y.V. Subba Reddy.
The MP said that there were no buyers for the low- to medium-grade flue-cured that accounted for more than 70 percent of production this year.
He has promised to take up the plight of the growers during the monsoon session of parliament and has urged growers not to make any ‘distress sales’ in the meantime.
Growers sold 38.58 million kg of flue-cured for an average price of Rs109.30 per kg after 80 days of auctions at the continuing 2015 sales season, according to Tobacco Board of India data.
Of the total, bright grades comprised 20.84 million kg, while 15.98 million kg comprised medium grades and 1.75 million kg low grades.
Concerned about the slow rate of auction sales, grower associations and Reddy have urged the Indian government to allow international cigarette manufacturers and leaf merchants to take part in the auctions directly, rather than, as now, through local partners.
Reddy has asked the board to make market interventions so as to provide relief for growers.