Centre announces relief package for Andhra, Karnataka tobacco farmers

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS): The Centre has announced a relief package for FCV (Flu Cured Virginia) tobacco farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka which includes interest free loans and waiving of penalties.

The Commerce and Industry Ministry said that the Centre has approved a Rs 10,000 interest-free loan for tobacco farmers in Andhra Pradesh whose crop was damaged by heavy rains in December.

“In view of the hardships faced by FCV (Flu Cured Virginia) Tobacco growers in Andhra Pradesh, the Government of India has approved Rs 10,000/- interest free loan from the Grower Welfare Fund of Tobacco Board to the grower members of the fund, whose crops were damaged due to MICHAUNG Cyclonic rains in Andhra Pradesh,” the statement said.

It said that this is a one-time interest free loan for Andhra Pradesh Crop Season 2023-24 only. This interest free loan amount will be recovered from the respective tobacco growers auction sale proceeds of 2023-24 Andhra Pradesh crop season.

Currently, auctions of FCV Tobacco are going on in Karnataka. Till date, around 85.12 M. kg FCV tobacco has already been marketed by the Board through its e-auction platforms in Karnataka. There is a jump of 12.49 per cent in the average price received by tobacco growers i.e. from Rs 228.01/- per kg last year to Rs 256.48/- per kg in the current year.

In Karnataka, the state government has declared drought in all except 2 FCV Tobacco growing taluks. This has affected the livelihood of FCV Tobacco growers. Due to this, the Central government has decided to permit the sale of FCV Tobacco on Tobacco Boards auction platform after waiving off the penalty on the sale of excess production of registered growers and unauthorised production of unregistered growers for Karnataka Crop Season 2023-24 only.

From 3rd-5th December 2023, MICHAUNG cyclone had caused heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh. The FCV tobacco crop grown in Andhra Pradesh covering Eluru, East Godavari, Kakinada, Prakasam, Nellore, Bapatla, Palnadu and Guntur districts has been severely affected due to these cyclonic rains.

The estimated area planted in the current crop season in Andhra Pradesh was 75,355 ha and 14,730 ha area i.e. around 20 per cent of the total planted area has been affected due to these heavy rains. The FCV tobacco crop has been impacted by washing out of crop, drowning of standing crop, water logging and resultant wilting of standing crop.

Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) Tobacco is mainly produced in India in 2 states, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Currently the crop season is going on in Andhra Pradesh, which has 42,915 FCV tobacco growers and auctions are going on in Karnataka which has 39,552 FCV tobacco growers.



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Title: Centre announces relief package for Andhra, Karnataka tobacco farmers

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