Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) Tobacco Growers and Traders’ Associations have opposed the proposal to broaden the research work of the Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI) in Rajahmundry, which has been hand-holding the farmers in implementing the the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the cultivation of FCV tobacco.
A proposal of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to widen the scope of the CTRI to other commercial crops and even change the nomenclature of the institute as the Indian Institute of Research on Commercial Agriculture (IIRCA) is a cause for concern for the FCV tobacco farming community.
Memorandum to Nirmala
A group of farmers belonging to the Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA), the Virginia Tobacco Growers’ Association (VTGA), the Kaligiri FCV Tobacco Growers’ Association, and the traders represented by the Indian Tobacco Association met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her visit to Vijayawada recently and submitted her a memorandum. The Union Minister reportedly assured the delegation that she would look into the issue.
The ICAR-CTRI was established in Rajahmundry in 1947, and is one of the oldest research institutions functioning under the ICAR, New Delhi. Its mandate is to conduct basic, strategic, and applied research on different tobaccos grown in India. It has done a tremendous work by developing a number of improved varieties.
“The CTRI has also helped the farmers by introducing several eco-friendly technologies for improving the efficiency of tobacco production and the lives of small and marginal farmers. The CTRI is the only government R&D institute supporting the farming community through research and guiding the farmers to opt for good agricultural practices. We urge the Centre to stop the proposal to widen the scope of the institute, which may result in lack of focus on tobacco-related research and support the farming community in A.P. and Karnataka,” said CH. Yashwanth, national spokesperson, FAIFA.