• June 21, 2024

Shifting out of tobacco

 Shifting out of tobacco

About 15 percent of the land previously under tobacco in India has been switched to growing other crops during the past three years, according to a story in the Times of India.
This switch has been brought about as a result of the Government’s crop diversification program (CDP).
The Times reported that tobacco was grown on about 450,000 ha in 15 states – about 0.3 percent of the country’s arable land – and that the agriculture ministry had reported that 67,000 ha had been switched to pulses and vegetables.
The Times, citing the ministry, reported that the switch out of tobacco had occurred in nine states and had been ‘led’ by Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the states that produce flue-cured tobacco for export. Between them, according to the Times report, they produce just over 70 percent of India’s tobacco.
The ministry said that tobacco was a remunerative crop with a low incidence of pests and disease, and that it was therefore a preferred crop. However, growers had been motivated to make the switch with campaigns highlighting the harmful effects of tobacco and by convincing them of the long-term benefits of alternative crops.
According to the Rajahmundry-based Central Tobacco Research Institute, studies have shown that no single crop is as remunerative as tobacco is. However, it says that a remunerative cropping system rather than a sole crop can be a viable alternative to a sole tobacco crop.