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Tobacco Cultivation in India


Tobacco production in India: Relevance

  • GS 3: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country


Tobacco cultivation in India: Context

  • Recently, the Andhra Pradesh Markfed has created history by exporting to the U.S. on a pilot basis 120 tonne of tobacco, a first by a government agency.


Tobacco Cultivation in Andhra Pradesh: Key points

  • Andhra Pradesh is a major tobacco producing State in the country.
  • Tobacco Board regulates tobacco production in the country, and has set the crop size for Andhra Pradesh at 130 mkg last year.


Tobacco Cultivation in India_3.1


Tobacco cultivation

  • Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is believed to have originated from South America.
  • Present world production is about 3 million tons of leaves from 4.2 million ha.


Climatic condition for tobacco

  • Tobacco is grown under a wide range of climates but requires a frost-free period of 90 to 120 days from transplanting to last harvest of leaves.
  • Optimum mean daily temperature for growth is between 20 and 30°C.
  • A dry period is required for ripening and harvest of the leaves.
  • Excess rainfall results in thin, lightweight leaves.
  • Except for some short-day varieties, cultivated tobacco is day-neutral in its response to flowering.
  • The crop is sensitive to waterlogging and demands well-aerated and drained soils.
  • The optimum pH ranges from 5 to 6.5. Quality of the leaves is affected by soil salinity.
  • The water requirements for maximum yield vary with climate and length of growing period from 400 to 600mm.


Tobacco Cultivation in India_4.1


Tobacco cultivation in India

  • India stands second in tobacco production and exports in the world. China ranks first.
  • Tobacco earns annually Rs 4,400 crores as foreign exchange and Rs more than 13,000 crores as excise revenue. Its total contribution to the national economy is Rs 18,255 crores.
  • In India, the tobacco crop directly or indirectly supports around 36 million people engaged in production, processing, marketing and exports which includes six million farmers and 5 million people involved in bidi-rolling and tendu leaf-plucking.
  • Thus, the crop is a lifeline for sizeable chunk of population, particularly rural women, tribals and other weaker sections of the society.


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