Lockdown-hit tobacco growers stalled e-auctions in D.C.Palli and staged a road blockade stir on the Chennai-Kolkata highway on Saturday demanding remunerative price for their produce.
The farmers made a bonfire of tobacco on the highway in protest against the lacklustre e-auctions, which resumed only on May 17 after remaining closed since March 23 coinciding with the nation-wide lockdown.
The ryots had heated arguments with the police who had a tough time in persuading the farmers to lift the stir and restore vehicular traffic on the expressway.
Farmers urged the Union and State Governments to immediately intervene and ensure market buoyancy. Tobacco Farmers Welfare Association president in D.C.Palli Gali Narasappa Naidu said domestic cigarette manufacturers drove down the prices while exporters kept away from the market on the pretext of lack of confirmed orders from overseas buyers.
They would be forced to incur a loss of about 3 lakh per tobacco barn in the wake of a fall of 20 to 30 per kg of tobacco for various grades last week, he said while urging the YSR Congress Party Government in the State to take up the matter with the Centre and ensure that they got an average price of 150 per kg of tobacco.
About one million kilogram of tobacco had been marketed so far by ryots in D.C.Palli as against the stimated production of over 7 million kilogram.