Minister for Animal Husbandry A Manju has urged the Tobacco Board and the Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) to protect the welfare of tobacco growers.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the 18th Tobacco Farmers' Award ceremony organised by the Tobacco Institute of India (TII) in the city, he said that even though the growers got a good yield, they have been facing problems due to lesser prices.
"So, the Tobacco Board should ensure suitable prices for the produce. A few tobacco growers have alleged that they are not getting required fertilisers. The board has not supplied the manure. The members of the board should take measures in this regard. Being a tobacco grower myself, I know the issues of tobacco growers," he said.
Lauding the TII, Manju said the institute has been encouraging the growers by instituting awards to farmers for adopting contemporary farming practices that help improve yield, produce better varieties and make Indian tobacco competitive in the global market.
MP R Dhruvanarayan said that only farmers in Mysuru, Hassan and Chamarajanagar are cultivating tobacco in the state but the country stands second in production of tobacco. Tobacco Board Secretary A Sridhar Babu assured of supplying necessary fertilisers. "The tobacco market is affected due to implementation of Goods and Services Tax and the board is always with the farmers and traders," he said.
On the occasion, 17 tobacco farmers were awarded for their exemplary farming practices and crop achievements. Farmers from Karnataka, Telengana and Andhra Pradesh were felicitated.