Growers demand to fix tobacco prices at Rs 250 per Kg
November 30, 2012
Tobacco growers have demanded of the government to fix tobacco support prices at Rs 250 per/Kg in current season, if not do so, then they would compel to launch a agitation campaign and boycott from cultivating tobacco.
Addressing at a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday, the Chairman Kashkaran Co-ordination Council Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Arif Ali Khan said that Pakistan Tobacco Board with multinational companies had fixed low prices at Rs 117 per/Kg against the cost of production in last season, but growers didn’t agreed on the prices and protested against it.
Flanked by General Secretary Liaqat Yousafzai, and growers from district Swabi, he informed that the tobacco is the only cash crop mostly cultivated in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which was also contributing Rs 72 billion on head of federal excise duty (FED), while millions of revenue generated for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Despite the huge revenue collection from the sector, he said the government and multinational companies didn’t provide tobacco prices as per cost of production to growers, because of which they are compelled on protest against the unfair prices.
This year, he said the PTB has started process of fixing tobacco support prices without real representation of growers, and consulting with a few tobacco mafia and agents. “We will not cultivate tobacco, if the government not provide them support prices as per cost of production in the current season”, said Arif Khan.
Regarding the purchased of non-recommended variety of tobacco, he said that the tobacco companies had purchased NRV tobacco early, but we also carried out a awareness campaign for production of quality tobacco in district Swabi. “We will not accept any prices against the cost of production in the current season, while the PTB and multi-national companies should fix prices with consultation of real representative of growers and tobacco experts”, he demanded.
The growers, demanded of the government to give tobacco as status of crop, as it was not only generating huge revenue on head of FED, while also providing employment opportunity to a large number of people. They also asked for extending special incentive and facilities to growers to cultivate a high quality of tobacco to further increase the exiting revenue through the crops.