Growers rate prices above volume

| September 14, 2016

Tobacco growers in Andhra Pradesh are concerned over a decision by the Tobacco Board of India to increase the state’s authorized flue-cured crop size, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

The board has apparently decided to increase the authorized crop by 10 million kg to 130 million kg for the 2016-17 season.

The growers are unhappy because the increase in crop size has been agreed without Minimum Guaranteed Prices (MGP) having been set.

A delegation of growers plans to meet the state Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and seek his intervention.

The growers had earlier demanded that the board get leaf buyers and traders to agree to a MGP for each tobacco grade at the time of fixing the crop size so as to help them make informed decisions about whether or not to grow flue-cured.

The Virginia Tobacco Growers’ Association President Ch. Seshaiah said there was no logic in the board’s increasing the crop size without arriving at MGPs for the various grades.

Meanwhile, growers say that the number of tobacco curing barns must be reduced and that those willing to quit tobacco production should receive compensation of at least Rs1 million for each tobacco barn taken out of commission.

The growers’ demands were said to have followed depressed market conditions during the past two consecutive production seasons.

The extent of the growers’ concerns can be seen in the fact that they are pushing for minimum prices at a time when volumes have been slashed. The 2015-16 season ended with about 118 million kg having been sold against an authorized crop of 120 million crop. During the previous season, about 190 million kg was sold.

Category: Breaking News

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