Encourage alternative crops to tobacco: Experts

Ongole: The Acharya NG Ranga University in Lam, Guntur organised a Farmer-Scientist Interaction meeting on 'Alternative crops to tobacco' at NTR Kalakshetram in Ongole on Saturday.

The speakers stressed the need of encouraging the tobacco farmers to shift to alternate crops like chilies, groundnut, corn, coriander, chickpea and black gram. In the meeting, ANGRAU VC Dr Vallabhaneni Damodara Naidu explained about the latest technologies available for farmers and use of mechanization in the production.

ICAR-CTRI Rajamahendravaram, Director Dr D Damodar Reddy said the farmers should consider shifting to alternate crops and discuss over it. He also answered the questions and doubts of farmers and providing solutions to their problems.

Tobacco Board Chairman Y Raghunatha Babu promised the farmers that he would work hard for development of the farmers. He said that he would encourage the farmers to reduce tobacco crop area and shift to alternate crops. MP GVL Narasimha Rao said the Central government was considering steps to reduce tobacco crop in the country.

Former ZP chairman Edara Haribabu said the tobacco products were ruining the health of public and demanded the government to completely ban tobacco crop in the country.

ANGRAU Director of Research Dr A Subrahmanyeswara Rao, Krishna Zone ADR Dr V Satyanarayana Rao, Regional Manager of Tobacco Board G Umamaheswara Rao, scientists from Krishi Vignan Kendras, DOT centers, and about 300 farmers participated in the interaction meeting.

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