Tobacco growers turning to potato cultivation in Swabi

Published October 29, 2022
A farmer stands in his potato field in Chota Lahor area of Swabi. — Dawn
A farmer stands in his potato field in Chota Lahor area of Swabi. — Dawn

SWABI: Farmers belonging to different regions of the district in a meeting here on Friday said that they were compelled to cultivate potato instead of tobacco due to the indifferent policy of the companies and tobacco traders in the current year.

The meeting was called by Tobacco Growers Association Pakistan (TGAP) to discuss the approach of the companies who had been showing reluctance to pick all the tobacco crop.

Raham Dad, a leading grower, said the environment and land here were suitable for potato production and the high price also encouraged the farmers to cultivate potato.

The farmers claimed that the reasons for shifting from tobacco to potato cultivation included the ‘hostile’ attitude of the multinational and national companies, failure of the Pakistan Tobacco Board to play its due role, imposition of Rs390 per kilogramme tax on tobacco by the federal government and their weakened financial position.

The participants said that the land for potato cultivation had been doubled and if this experience proved successful it would encourage the tobacco growers to cultivate it on more land in future.

TGAP central president Liaquat Yousafzai said it was not possible for the tobacco growers to face indifference of the federal and provincial governments, the companies, traders and PTB in the wake of high inflation and increasing prices of pesticides and fertilisers.

ARRESTED: Police on Friday arrested a man who had allegedly killed his sister-in-law three weeks ago, said Chota Labor DSP Pasham Gul.

The woman had lodged an FIR before succumbing to her injuries, saying her brother-in-law Ahmed Ali entered her house due to enmity and opened fire on her and her son Rashid Ali.

She later succumbed to her injuries in the hospital. Police have also recovered a pistol from the accused.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2022

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