• June 12, 2024

Indian Farmers Worried About Tobacco Prices

 Indian Farmers Worried About Tobacco Prices
Photo: Tobacco Reporter archive

Tobacco farmers in Andhra Pradesh are concerned about declining tobacco prices, reports The Hindu.

When the auctions opened, buyers were offering more than INR180 ($2.44) per kg for bright grade varieties in the country’s most prominent tobacco-growing province. Now, the same varieties are fetching INR170 per kg at best, a group of farmers at the Vellampalli auction platform said.

To date, only 7.26 million kg have been traded against an estimated production of more than 70 million kg in the traditional tobacco-growing areas under the purview of the Southern Light Soils (SLS) and the Southern Black Soil (SBS) auction platforms. Tobacco production was also impacted by unseasonal rains in the Nellore and Prakasam districts.

In SBS auction platforms, the average price realized for the 3.55 million kg marketed so far has dropped to INR170.95 kg now. In SLS auction platforms, the 3.71 million kg marketed to date fetched an average price of INR173.30 per kg, according to the Tobacco Board.

Vellampalli II Tobacco Growers’ Association President N. Chimpriya called for intervention by the State Trading Corp., pointing to the foreign exchange traditionally earned by the tobacco sector.

Last year, Indian tobacco farmers incurred significant losses due to a prolonged Covid-19 lockdown. Tobacco growers fear disruption this year, too, as India struggles with a steep surge in infections.