Tobacco growers attending a meeting in Takht Bhai. - Photo by Farmanullah

MARDAN, 28 October: The tobacco growers of Takht Bhai tehsil of Mardan are facing hardships as tobacco companies have refused to pay them prices for their crops agreed upon earlier.

In this regard the tobacco growers of Takht Bhai held a meeting on Tuesday which was headed by Qamar Zaman Advocate. Participants of the meeting said the Pakistan Tobacco Company, Lakson Tobacco Company and Khyber Tobacco Company had reached agreement with them to buy tobacco at Rs176 per kilogram. They alleged that the tobacco companies have now backed off from their pledge and they are now giving Rs150 per kilogram to growers.

The tobacco growers said they cannot sell their crops on this rate as it will cause huge losses to them. They demanded the government to take action against tobacco companies for violating the agreement.

A tobacco farmer told TNN after the meeting that tobacco is the only cash crop of the area. “We depend on the earning of tobacco crop for all our requirements. We wait for the whole year for this crop and after all our efforts the tobacco companies exploit us with different tactics,” he said.

Another tobacco grower said that after the whole year’s effort he is now unable to get right price for his crop. “We demand the government to intervene into the matter as we have no other source of income,” he said.

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