Allow FDI in tobacco sector, AP farmers urge Govt

Ch R. S. Sarma | | Updated on: Mar 12, 2018

BL10_AGRI_TOBACCO

Members of Virginia Tobacco Growers’ Welfare Association from Andhra Pradesh on Thursday met Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum to him.

The members have asked the Government to allow FDI in tobacco leaf purchase, processing and cigarette manufacture in the country.

According to a press release issued by the association here, the farmers impressed upon the minister the need to permit FDI in the sector, as a few companies were monopolising the scene and they had formed into a cartel.

They contended that even during the past three years, supposed to be good in general, farmers under 14 out of the 19 tobacco auction platforms had suffered badly and they could not even recoup the cost of cultivation.

The average price fetched by the crop was less by Rs 20 less per kg than the cost of cultivation under these floors.

They said only farmers in the northern light soils of West Godavari district could get remunerative prices and other farmers in the State had to suffer, as the Tobacco Board or the Government had taken no steps to inject buoyancy into the market through market intervention measures.

They alleged that during the current tobacco auctions going on in Andhra Pradesh too, there was no improvement in position.

Therefore, they pleaded that the Government should allow FDI in the sector to break the cartels and in the meantime take up market intervention measures.

They said that the trade wing of the Tobacco Board, Guntur, or some other central government agency should take up market intervention.

It was also necessary to promote tobacco exports aggressively in view of the competition from other countries such as China.

The delegation was led by Seshaiah, President of the association, and Ranga Rao, Honorary President.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

Published on May 09, 2013
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