Tobacco growers concerned over fresh regulations
Tobacco Growers Concerned Over Fresh Regulations. Increasing restrictions on tobacco products, particularly cigarettes, are becoming a growing concern for tobacco growers. For this reason, tobacco growers from the State, along with their counterparts from Karnataka, will be meeting the health ministry officials.
To meet health ministry officials on December 2
Increasing restrictions on tobacco products, particularly cigarettes, are becoming a growing concern for tobacco growers. For this reason, tobacco growers from the State, along with their counterparts from Karnataka, will be meeting the health ministry officials.
It is their view that the increased tax on cigarettes and the fresh regulations by the health ministry over sale of loose cigarettes will only bring down exports of tobacco and affect the auction prices.
''Imposing restrictions on cigarettes sale will not have the desired results, as there is no such restriction when it comes to other tobacco products like beedi. Cigarettes manufactures will only decrease their production rates, which will affect the demand for tobacco leaves and its auction prices will get plummeted. We will be forced to suffer losses,'' explained PS Muralibabu, general secretary of Kondapi Tobacco Growers Association.
Farmers from Prakasam district, which is the largest grower of tobacco in the State, are going to Delhi to participate in the protest. Tobacco Growers Day will be held in the capital on December 2. The farmers said that they welcomed the initiative of healthy ministry to reduce the tobacco consumption, but were perplexed by it being done without taking their concerns into consideration.
''As many as 54,000 farmers in Prakasam district alone are dependent on the tobacco cultivation. Number of farm hands dependent on tobacco cultivation would be some 8 to 10 times that number. Policy makers should first consider our problems and make arrangements for the alternate to tobacco cultivation, which is the most remunerative crop in Prakasam district, which has scarce water resources and is totally rain fed. Already there are restrictions on the cropping area of tobacco and now with the new initiatives, our livelihood will be at stake. We want the policy makers to first show us alternatives, which are remunerative in nature on par with tobacco,'' the farmers said.