Centre approves interest free loan to cyclone-hit Andhra tobacco growers | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Centre approves interest free loan to cyclone-hit Andhra tobacco growers

Feb 26, 2024 05:18 PM IST

Centre approves interest free loan to cyclone-hit Andhra tobacco growers

"This is a one-time interest free loan for Andhra Pradesh crop season 2023-24 only," the commerce ministry said.

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It added that the loan amount will be recovered from the respective tobacco growers' auction sale proceeds of the 2023-24 crop season.

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"In view of the hardships faced by FCV (flue-cured Virginia) tobacco growers in Andhra Pradesh, Government of India has approved 10,000 interest free loan from the Grower Welfare Fund of Tobacco Board to the grower members of the fund, whose crops were damaged due to Michaung cyclonic rains in Andhra Pradesh," it said.

FCV tobacco is mainly produced in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Crop season is going on in Andhra Pradesh, which has 42,915 FCV tobacco growers and auctions are going on in Karnataka which has 39,552 growers.

During December 3-5, 2023, the cyclone had caused heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh.

The FCV tobacco crop grown in Andhra Pradesh covering Eluru, East Godavari, Kakinada, Prakasam, Nellore, Bapatla, Palnadu and Guntur districts has been severely affected due to these cyclonic rains.

The estimated area planted in the current crop season in Andhra Pradesh was 75,355 hectare. Out of this, 14,730 hectare, that is around 20 per cent has been affected due to these heavy rains.

The crop has been impacted by washing out of crop, drowning of standing crop, water logging and resultant wilting of standing crop.

Currently, auctions of these tobacco are going on in Karnataka.

It also said that in Karnataka, the state government has declared drought in all except 2 FCV tobacco growing taluks.

"This has affected the livelihood of FCV tobacco growers. Due to this, Government of India has decided to permit the sale of FCV tobacco on Tobacco Boards auction platform after waiving the penalty on the sale of excess production of registered growers and unauthorized production of unregistered growers for Karnataka crop season 2023-24 only," the ministry said.

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