Farmers take up tobacco farming in Uttar Pradesh

Gorakhpur (UP): Despite increasingly pervasive anti-tobacco legislation and tax structures to discourage tobacco consumption, farmers in Uttar Pradesh have taken up tobacco cultivation.

Significant numbers of farmers in Gorakhpur region of the state are resorting to tobacco cultivation more vigorously after prices of the commodity-hit spurt at domestic and international markets.

"Cost of tobacco cultivation is 3,000 rupees per acre and the expected profit that it can yield is 75,000 rupees per acre. It can be profitable for us and for the businessmen also. Previously they used to get tobacco from Bihar, now they can directly get it from us," said Ram Nayan, tobacco grower.

The tobacco traders are also happy at the development as more and more farmers take up tobacco farming in the region.

"We used to import tobacco from Bihar, but now as tobacco production has been started in Gorakhpur itself, we won’t be importing tobacco from other states. By doing so we are actually cutting on the cost of tobacco as we won’t be paying any money to the intermediaries," said Devilal, tobacco businessmen.

The guarantee of an assured market for their crop has provided a strong incentive to farmers to shift to growing tobacco.

India is one of the largest tobacco producers in the world with Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka having emerged as the main tobacco growing regions in the country.