SWABI: Tobacco growers here on Friday rejected the tobacco price fixed by the federal government for the upcoming year, and demanded an increase in rates according to high inflation and growing expenditures incurred on crop production.

The demand was made at a meeting called by Tobacco Growers Association Pakistan (TGAP).

The participants said the ministry of national food security and research had submitted a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet to fix the minimum price of tobacco crop for 2023.

They said the ECC had fixed the price of Flue-Cured Virginia (FCV) of plain areas at Rs310 per kilogramme (kg) and that of mountainous areas at Rs351 per kg.

Similarly, they said price of Dark Air-Cured (DAC) tobacco had been fixed at Rs190 per kg, White Patta (WP) and snuff/hookah tobacco at Rs146 per kg each, Sun-Cured Virginia (SCV) at Rs200 per kg and burley at Rs233 per kg.

Speaking at the meeting, TGAP’s central president Liaqat Yousafzai said the new fixed price was much lower than the expenditure borne by farmers on tobacco production.

Arif Ali Khan, president of Ittehad Kashtkaran, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said farmers wanted the prime minister to reconsider the decision.

The participants decided to meet Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Cheema to apprise him about their concerns.

They demanded that tobacco price should be fixed at Rs400 per kg.

JOINT RESEARCH: The Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology and the Information Technology University (ITU) of Punjab inked a Memorandum of Understanding here the other day to promote joint academic and research activities.

GIK Institute rector Prof Fazal Ahmad Khalid and ITU vice-chancellor Prof Sarfraz Khurshid signed the MoU.

Under the agreement, they will exchange scientific, academic and technical information and appropriate academic materials and other information of mutual interest for which each party holds intellectual property rights. They will also work for identification of opportunities for exchanges and cooperation besides joint research and development in disciplines of mutual interest.

Meanwhile, the GIK Institute and Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF-IAST) signed a MoU to boost mutual collaboration besides agreeing to have access to each other’s facilities.

Dr Khalid and PAF-IAST rector Prof Mohammad Mujahid signed the agreement.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2022

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