SWABI: For the coming year, global and local tobacco firms have raised their tobacco crop requirements by 10.86 million kilogrammes to 56.48m kg, sources told Dawn on Wednesday.
The overall demand from tobacco producers last year was 45.61m kg. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tobacco growers firmly condemned the delay, saying that, according to their earlier schedule, they could not cultivate the crop. Swabi is recognised as the’ House of Tobacco’ among the tobacco growing districts in the province.
The tobacco market announcement, which is normally announced annually at the start of November, was postponed by well over a month in the current year, the sources said.
In November, farmers prefer to sow wheat if there is less need for tobacco. Growers say that businesses postpone the declaration of demand in order to suppress prices. One year, corporations will say there’s less interest and pay a decent price for farmers.
More farmers naturally want to plant tobacco the following year, and that’s where the corporations exploit the situation, ensuring that excess crops will arise and profits will collapse.
The specifications of the companies were announced through the Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB). In particular, 61 firms have indicated demand and only 50 buyers have reported their quota in the current year, the sources said.
According to PTB, 26.50m kg will be purchased by Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC), 13.00m kg by Phillip Morris International Pakistan, 2.20m kg by Khyber Tobacco Company and A-Q companies, and 58 national companies will purchase the remaining 10.80m kg.
When approached, the leaders of tobacco growers said that corporations often follow policies to buy tobacco from them at low rates and adopt various methods and techniques to achieve this goal.
Liaqat Yousafzai, General Secretary of the Kashtkar Coordination Council, said that they supported the raise in the quota, but that the serious issue of deciding the price of the crop for the coming year still remains to be finalised.