GUNTUR: Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) has demanded the Centre to announce a special economic relief package for the farmers hit by the Nivar cyclone. It said that cyclone has threatened both the lives and livelihoods of millions of FCV tobacco farmers in Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore districts.
Speaking to the media here on Sunday, FAIFA general secretary P S Murali Babu said that FCV farming community has faced business losses of over Rs 6,000 crore due to drop in production from 325 million kg in 2014-15 to 210 million kg in 2019-20. He said that the situation of the FCV farmers’ had further worsened due to covid-19 pandemic. “Just when FCV tobacco farmers’ are trying to recuperate from the heavy economic losses, the recent heavy rains, immediately after the plantation has shattered farmers’ confidence as they are set to loss massive amounts,” said Murali Babu. He said that more than 30,000 hectare has been planted in traditional tobacco growing region (Prakasam and Nellore) and 40% of the crop has been heavily impacted due to submergence.
FAIFA vice president Gadde Seshagiri Rao said that farmers in Northern Light Soil (NLS) region were also badly hit as the incessant rains have flooded the fields a few weeks after completion of sowing operations. “Now, farmers’ have no other option than re-plantation, which involves additional expenses,” said Seshagiri Rao. Federation national spokesperson Yashwanth Chidipothu said that the recent rains have induced huge losses to the burley tobacco growers of Vinukonda, Prakasam regions. He said that the region experienced downpour and high winds for two consecutive days leaving the 60-day old saplings to damage. He said that the farmers sowed burley in about 10000 acres and entire crop was lost due to Nivar.