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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2554

Farmers to opt to cultivate other crops instead tobacco

By Manjari Peiris

A very interesting and encouraging news from Karnataka, India, which could be an example for Sri Lanka too to follow with, to convert our country's soil a profitable one and to help our citizens to be hale and hearty.

A witnessing change has been taking place in parts of tobacco growing regions in Karnataka. Many farmers who cultivated tobacco for decades have been now moving on to cultivating other crops after a fall in income from tobacco. According to them, they have found cultivation of potato or maize to be more profitable given the labor cost and work hours after the commercial crop demands.

For the attention of Sri Lanka President, please help Sri Lanka tobacco cultivators too to move away from tobacco cultivation and find alternate cultivations!

India is one of the countries among signatories to the WHO- Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which mandates phasing out tobacco cultivation by 2020, and the growers here are ready to give it up, if they are offered a comprehensive package, besides waiving of loans.

According to one farmer whose father started tobacco cultivation in the late 1970s when cigarette manufacturers promoted the crop in the region, a grower can produce 1750 kg of tobacco leaves a year. In the last 30 years, the price of tobacco has gone up 10 times, whereas the labour cost has gone up 100 times. In addition to that, they had to spend on constructing barns and fuel necessary to dry the leaves.

The farmers reveal that with minimum expenses and least labor cost, they get good income from potato or maize. Having had over burdened with borrowed loans to cultivate tobacco, now they have stopped growing tobacco.

Of the 8000 license holders for tobacco cultivation in Hassan, nearly 1,000 have stopped cultivating tobacco. According to the farmers, many have stopped cultivating tobacco, and the rest are ready to give up the crop, provided the government gives them a package.

Source of information: www.fctct.org

- Asian Tribune -

Farmers to  opt to cultivate other crops instead  tobacco
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