Tobacco crop is of immense economic significance for Pakistan, especially for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, though it occupies a relatively small area of 0.27 per cent of the total irrigated land in the country and about three per cent of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
It is a highly labour-intensive and cost-oriented crop. The cost of production is very high as compared to other cash crops. With suitable crop husbandry, it is capable of yielding high income to growers compared to any other cash crop.
Tobacco companies commenced tobacco purchases at their purchase depots on July 1, the date fixed by the Pakistan Tobacco Board.
Before the commencement of tobacco planting, the board had fixed minimum indicative prices for tobacco crop 2011.
The minimum prices fixed for flue-cured Virginia tobacco was Rs124.30 a kg. However, tobacco growers are not happy with the
minimum prices fixed by the board and those offered by tobacco companies at purchase depots.
This is borne by the fact that great resentment has been shown in the print media over the issue of tobacco growers.
According to press reports, the minimum price fixed by the board is below the cost of production of the crop. Tobacco growers, therefore, demand upward revision of prices being paid to them so that they are saved from financial losses on this account.