Naidu urges tobacco board to start auction of tobacco to protect farmers

VIJAYAWADA, Apr 25:
Telugu Desam Party National President and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has appealed to the tobacco board to start auction of tobacco at the earliest to protect the interests of the farmers.
In a letter to Tobacco Board chairman Raghunadha Babuh here on Friday, the former Chief Minister said that farmers are the worst affected section of the society due to COVID-19 lockdown.
Among farmers, tobacco farmers are the worst affected, as other agriculture produce may be sold in retail, but tobacco farmers are not permitted to sell in retail market.
In this backdrop, tobacco farmers in Andhra Pradesh have produced around 124 million Kgs. The first installment of auction supposed to be held during third week of March 2020 was postponed indefinitely due to the advent of COVID-19.
Agriculture has been relaxed from lockdown and hence, Tobacco Board has to take measures to initiate the auction of tobacco. Further, delay in auction would only result in damage and diminish the quality of the tobacco, which in turn would push farmers into severe distress, Mr Naidu cautioned.
“In this environment of distress, I personally and on behalf of the tobacco farmers request you to immediately rescue them by initiating the tobacco auction and simultaneously give them assurance”, the TDP National President said in the letter. (UNI)

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