World over, tobacco is a low-volume and a high value cash crop providing livelihood security to millions of people. At present, India
occupies second place in tobacco production (750 M kg) and exports (260 M kg) after People's Republic of China (2,300 M kg) and Brazil
(730 M kg), respectively. In India, the crop is grown in an area of 0.45 M ha (0.27% of net cultivated area) contributing ~ 20,000
crores to the national exchequer through foreign exchange earnings and internal excise revenue. Tobacco cultivation, processing and
manufacture are a source of employment to ~ 36 million people in the country.
Tobacco is cultivated in all parts of the country and
considered as most valued and economic crop. Tabaccum varieties are used for cigarette, cigar, bidi, hookah, chewing and snuff. In
India, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are major tobacco growing states and Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bangal, Bihar, U.P.
and Punjab are nominal tobacco producing states.
INDIAN TOBACCO DETAILS:
KARNATAKA LIGHT SOILS (KLS):
The light soils existing in MYSORE, Hassan, Shimoga,
Davangere, Coorg, Chikkamagalore and Chitradurga districts constitute the light soils of Karnataka.
NORTHERN LIGHT SOILS (NLS):
The light soils existing in East and west Godavari and parts of Khammam districts constitute the Northern light soils (NLS).
LIGHT SOILS (SLS):
The light soils existing in Prakasam and Nellore districts constitute the southern light
SOUTHERN BLACK SOILS (SBS):
The black soils present in Prakasam and Nellore districts nearer
to the coast constitute the Southern black soils.
NORTHERN BLACK SOILS (NBS):
The black soils located in
the districts of Karimnagar, Khammam, East and West Godavari constitutes the Northern Black soils.
Grown in various pockets of Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh,
INDIAN AIR CURED:
Grown in various pockets
of Andhra Pradesh, producing a Medium to Heavy bodied, cigarette type air cured.
Stem and FCV
fines like semi bright & bright Scrap and etc., by use small manufacturers and Bedi industries.
Grading of tobacco is based on color, length, blemish, body and texture on the leaf. Traditional Flue-cured tobacco is primarily graded
into brights, semi-brights, browns and greens correlating with "Agmark Grades" adopted for export. They are also graded by planting
time such as monsoon crop (Burley tobacco) and soil type such as Northern Black Soils (NBS), Southern Black Soils (SBS), Southern
Light Soils (SLS), Northern Light Soils (NLS) etc. The tobacco after grading is processed for markets worldwide. This involves elimination
of off-styles, hand stripping, tipping of leaves and blending of different styles to meet specific needs.