PM is very sensitive towards the farmers’ problems and the government will do everything to protect the farmer’s interests- Piyush Goyal

Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, held a meeting with tobacco farmers, manufacturer’s exporters at Novotel, Shamshabad, Hyderabad On 29.06.2024. While addressing the gathering, he expressed his satisfaction for realization of record high price for the flue cured Virginia tobacco by the farmers as well as record high export performance for the Indian tobacco for FY 2023-24. He shared that as on 27/06/2024 an average price of Rs.269.91 per kg has been realized by the farmers for the sale of 112.35 million kg of FCV tobacco in electronic auctions conducted by the Tobacco Board. He also informed that the export value of un-manufactured tobacco and tobacco products surpassed all the earlier records at Rs.12005.80 crore (1449.50 million US$). This is higher by 11.3% in rupee terms and 19.5 % in dollar terms.

The participants thanked the Hon’ble Minister for the opportunity and informed the problems being faced by tobacco farmers in tobacco production such as shortage of labour, lack of assistance for farm mechanization, higher cost of sulphate of potash(SOP) fertilizer, penalty on excess tobacco production, increased fuel cost for tobacco barns and sought necessary technological/financial assistance from the Government. Traders submitted that tobacco exporters are not covered under any scheme that provides export incentives and requested to extend support to tobacco exporters by including them under the RoDTEP scheme. They also requested the government help in curtailing the unauthorized production and use of chewing tobacco in India due to which there is a huge loss to the Government exchequer. They also informed that there is an increase in illicit cigarette sales.

The Hon’ble Minister noted the problems faced by the tobacco farmers and industry and said that the Hon’ble PM is very sensitive towards the farmers’ problems and the government will do everything to protect the farmers interests. He has assured to address the issues of the tobacco farmers and industry by taking up the following measures:

He promised to address the issue of staff shortage in Tobacco board immediately. All efforts will be made to waive the penalty on excess tobacco produced by the farmers this year.

The period of validity of registration will be increased from 1 year to a period of 3 years. This will be available for all the tobacco farmers from the upcoming season. Govt. Will also encourage all farmers to go digital for the registration. This will not be mandatory as offline registration is also available for the benefit of small farmers.

He urged the farmer fraternity to avail the interest subvention facility under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund through which the Agricultural Ministry can give 3% interest subsidy for development of latest infrastructure in tobacco production.

He also advised the Tobacco Board to arrange interest free higher education loans to the children of tobacco farmers with a repayment period of 7 years. He also advised the Tobacco Board to increase the financial assistance to farmers during natural calamities.

It was advised the Director, ICAR-CTRI to develop mechanization in tobacco cultivation, suitable alternative for SOP fertilizer, suitable plant protection chemicals to avoid objectionable residues in tobacco to encourage exports, and to develop barns that operate by using solar and electricity for curing tobacco.

Smt. D.Purandeshwari, M.P, Rajamahendravaram, Sri. Rajesh Agrawal, Addl. Secretary, DoC, Sri. Ch. Yashwanth Kumar, Chairman, Tobacco Board and Dr. Sridhar Babu Addanki, Executive Director, Tobacco Board have also participated in the meeting


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here