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Tobacco to Get Higher Price at Auction Platforms across Karnataka

Tobacco appears to be commanding a better price at the auction platforms across Karnataka during the ensuing season than last year.

Ayushi Raina
Farmer Loading Tobacco

This season, tobacco will obtain a higher price on auction platforms across Karnataka. The average price for the estimated 5 million kg of tobacco auctioned so far since the markets opened on September 24, the average price has been 154 per kg, compared to 119 per kg during last year's auction season.

Despite the fact that the crop size for the year has been set at 97 million kg, sources in the tobacco business expect a deficit of around 20 million kg this year due to less-than-ideal rainfall.

Javare Gowda, president of the Federation of Flue-Cured Variety (FCV) Tobacco Growers Associations of Karnataka, stated that the quality of tobacco harvested this year was significantly better than last year. Even though quantities were down, the proportion of brilliant grade variety had climbed greatly this year.

Farmers had complained about the low prices offered the previous year after the majority of the crop was found to be of poor quality. This year, however, the quantity of brilliant grade variety has increased. "The rise in brilliant grade variety and decrease in the output should assure a better price this year," said Gowda.

Tobacco producers in Mysuru are anticipating prices to rise for the first time in four years.

According to Tobacco Board sources, the average price of tobacco has been declining over the previous three years. It fell from 136 in 2018-19 to Rs.124 in 2019-20 before rising to Rs.119.87 in 2020-21.

Farmers gheraoing people's representatives have complained about the low prices since the auction season began on September 24. The auction season is projected to last until the harvested tobacco is auctioned off in February or March 2022.

Tobacco growers, however, have urged the Tobacco Board to decrease the penalty for unlicensed tobacco. Gowda, who shared a copy of a circular issued by the Tobacco Board decreasing the penalty in Andhra Pradesh, stated that farmers in Karnataka are also anticipating concessions.

The Tobacco Board enforces penalties not just for tobacco grown by unlicensed farmers, but also for licensed growers who plant tobacco in excess of the sanctioned quota. 

The Board has set a limit of 1,750 kg per barn this year. He has requested the Board to decrease the penalty to a flat 2 per kg and 5% of the earnings of unauthorized tobacco farmed by both licensed and unlicensed growers.

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