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Tobacco farmers asked to grow recommended variety only

Tobacco Company of Brazil
The tobacco growers have been asked not to cultivate the non-recommended variety (NRV) of tobacco to avoid the dilemma like the previous year, when the tobacco producing, manufacturing, and export companies refused to purchase their crops.

The tobacco companies on Thursday held a meeting with the Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB), which was chaired by its acting chairman and secretary, Noman Bashir, at the PTC head office on Thursday.

Briefing the media persons Noman Bashir said the meeting had unanimously decided they would only accept the recommended variety (RV) of tobacco, including Speight G-28, K-399 and RGH 4.

He said last year the companies had purchased a huge quantity of non-recommended variety (NRV) of tobacco that perished in their godowns due low and poor quality.

He said about Rs15 million worth of exported tobacco had been rejected by the foreign companies, due to which, the local manufacturing companies faced huge losses.

Bashir maintained that the province had produced 99 percent FCV tobacco, but the growth had immensely declined due to cultivation of NRV, saying that the NRV production in the province was growing and the companies were compelled to purchase the variety form growers. The growers were yet to grow nurseries therefore they are being informed to refrain from breeding NRVs, which include Swati, Gul Sherey and Spin Danday, he said.

He added the PTB got early maturing hybrid seed from Tobacco Company of Brazil to carry out trial and testing of the same for the growers and the variety proved suitable for the area would be distributed to the farmers.

“We should increase our production, secretary PTB said and added that India India was producing around 800 million KG tobacco while Pakistan’s production was nearly 80 million KG annually.

To a question he said the tobacco companies were bound to purchase tobacco, as per their requirement and the PTB was regulating and monitoring the entire process of purchase. Tobacco was still the sole regulated crop in the country, he said.

To another question, he said that the prices were fixed for every season and this year it rose from Rs112 to Rs125 per kg.

Bashir said the government was earning Rs600 billion, as federal excise duty from tobacco sector in which. the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa contributes Rs300 million annually.

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