TOBACCO CULTIVATION (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Agriculture)

News-CRUX-10     2nd May 2024        
output themes

Context: Tobacco growers in Andhra Pradesh are set to reap the fallout of a substantial drop in crop output in key producing countries like Brazil, Zimbabwe and Indonesia because of weather extremes, such as drought and unseasonable rain.


  • About: It is derived from the leaves of the genus Nicotiana, a plant from the nightshade family indigenous to North and South America.
  • Global Production:  China, India, and Brazil.
  • Major Tobacco-Producing States in India: Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Telangana, and Bihar are among the major tobacco-producing states in India.
  • Climatic Conditions for Tobacco Cultivation

o Frost-Free Period: A frost-free period of 90 to 120 days is necessary from transplanting to the last harvest of leaves.

o Temperature: The mean daily temperature for optimal growth falls between 20°C and 30°C.

o Dry Period Requirement: A dry period is essential for the ripening and harvest of tobacco leaves.

o Rainfall: Excessive rainfall leads to thin and lightweight leaves, impacting the quality of the crop.

o Soil Conditions: Tobacco crops are sensitive to waterlogging and require well-aerated, drained soils.

o pH Range: The optimum pH for tobacco cultivation ranges from 5 to 6.5. Soil salinity affects leaf quality.

o Water Requirements: Water needs vary based on climate and growing period, ranging from 400 to 600mm for maximum yield.