SWABI: The tobacco growers have urged their representative organizations to push companies for payment of compensation for the produce purchased at a lower price and the losses caused by the rains and hailstorms in various areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the previous crop.
The growers have appealed to their representative organizations to take up the matter with the companies, both domestic and multinational, to provide relief to the tobacco farmers for their losses.
The farmers said that the companies had bought tobacco produce at a low price during the initial purchasing season, which caused huge losses to the poor growers.They said that most of the growers sold their produce to the companies as per the agreement but they were paid less than the market rate at that time.
The farmers in their letter said that independent purchasers paid high prices while some domestic and multinational companies fleeced the poor growers and purchased the produce at a lower rate.They urged the representative organisations to take up the matter with the companies to repay the growers for the lowest price.
Meanwhile, the farmers of tobacco-growing areas also urged the companies to provide the Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) fund to facilitate the growers.Under the CSR rule, the companies are obliged by law to spend a certain percentage of their profit on the welfare of the affected farmers.
The CSR fund is meant for the growers’ welfare, economic uplift and health facilities because the excessive use of pesticides, contamination of water sources and emission of toxic smoke from the tobacco furnaces affect the health and environment.
The CSR fund is also utilized for provision of clean drinking water, construction of farm to market roads and treatment of certain diseases and education facilities in the tobacco growing areas.