SWABI: The hailstorm had destroyed Virginia tobacco over 30,000 kanals and White Patta (WP) tobacco over 8,000 kanals in Swabi and Razaar tehsils on April 26.

This was stated by officials who led the teams of multinational and national companies that conducted the damage survey.

However, Kashthkar Coordination Council central general secretary Liaquat Yousafzai claimed that Virginia tobacco over 50,000 kanals was destroyed by hailstones, resulting in losses of Rs190 million to the farmers. In addition, he said, the storm had also damaged standing wheat crop.

The companies’ experts said Virgina tobacco was cultivated over 200,000 kanals and WP tobacco over 100,000 kanals across the district.

However, Mr Yousafzai said that Virginia tobacco was cultivated over 300,000 kanals.

Growers demand compensation

The officials told this scribe that Pakistan Tobacco Board and Philips Morris International did not conduct a joint survey, but made separate efforts to know about damage to the crop.

Deputy Commissioner Shahid Mehmood, who had sent a report about destruction to the crops to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, had assured the growers of financial support.

The grower leaders said that it was the responsibility of the government to provide financial assistance to them.

Meanwhile, rain accompanied with thunderstorm lashed the district late on Saturday night and damaged harvested wheat crop.

Sher Alam Gohati, provincial general secretary of Anjuman-i-Kasthkaran, said that frequent rains had caused much damage to the wheat crop this year.

KILLED: A 16-year-old boy was killed over petty issue at Sheikh Jana village of Razaar tehsil here the other day.

Registering an FIR, Usman Saeed told police that an exchange of hot words had taken place between his cousin Shahyan Khan and Rahim Zada and his sons Hassan Khan and Shiraz Khan when he refused to lend them money sometime ago. However, they later allegedly killed Shahyan.

Meanwhile, two people were injured with two auto-rickshaws collided on Swabi-Mardan road. They were taken to the district headquarters hospital.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2020