Tobacco farming

Tobacco is an important commercial crop cultivated in an area of 0.4 million ha producing annually around 700 million kg of cured leaf out of which 260 M kg is Flue-Cured Virginia tobacco (cigarette type). India is the 3rd largest producer of tobacco in the world after China and Brazil. Majority of the states in the Indian union territory grow one type or the other to a greater or lesser extent, significantly influencing the economy and prosperity of the farming community. Flue-Cured Virginia (FCV), Bidi, Hookah and Chewing, Cigar filler, Cigar Wrapper, Cheroot, Burley, Oriental, HDBRG, Lanka etc., are the different types of tobacco grown in the country. Tobacco is consumed in the form of cigarettes, cigars, cheroots, bidis, pipe and hookah. It is chewed in the form of Surti, Zarda, Qiwamquid, Masheri, Kharamasala. Also, tobacco is inhaled in the form of snuff. The crop provides employment to about 36 million people directly or indirectly including 6 million farmers in the country. India ranks 5th largest exporter of tobacco in the world after Brazil, USA, Malawi and Turkey. The crop fetches annually around Rs.1,713 crores as foreign exchange through exports and over Rs. 9,100 crores as excise revenue. An estimated ~250 million people in the country use tobacco in different forms.