Tobacco Board cuts crop size for State
It has been reduced from 99 million kg to 88 million kg for the ensuing year
- Anticipating a dip in global demand, the Tobacco Board has reduced the crop size for Karnataka from 99 million kg to 88 million kg for the ensuing year.
- The crop size was revised by the Tobacco board in the wake of the Indian Tobacco Association (ITA) reducing its indent, fearing a plunge in global demand for the commodity due to COVID-19.
- The concerns of tobacco growers, who were worried over the fate of their produce if the demand for the commodity plunged in the COVID-19-afflicted global economic scenario.
- Now, each farmer will be able to grow only 1,558 kg per barn against the earlier 1,700 kg per barn.
- Tobacco is grown in an estimated one lakh hectares in Karnataka, mostly in Periyapatna, Hunsur, K.R. Nagar and H.D. Kote taluks of Mysuru district, besides Arkalgud and Holenarsipur of Hassan district by an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 growers.
- More than 80% of the tobacco grown in the State, classified as superior Virginia Flue Cured (VFC) variety, is exported to various cigarette manufacturing companies in about 60 to 70 countries.
- Convener of the Anti-Tobacco Forum and Cancer Patients’ Aid Association in Mysuru Vasanthkumar Mysoremath referred to health advisories against consumption of tobacco and studies indicating the vulnerability of smokers to COVID-19, and said the government should declare a crop holiday while farmers’ leader Kurubur Shanthakumar urged the tobacco growers to take up cultivation of tobacco only if the authorities guarantee a remunerative price for the produce.