The Tobacco Board has taken the following steps to reduce Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco production:

  1. The Board had resolved that there shall be a gradual phase-out of tobacco cultivation. The reduction shall be gradual and uniform in both Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka without affecting the farmers’ interests.
  2. Tobacco Board is not granting registration to new growers and not issuing any licenses for the construction of new barns, creating additional curing infrastructure and no expanding FCV tobacco cultivation in new areas and thereby restricting horizontal expansion of tobacco.
  3. Board has been advising the bankers and co-operative societies not to finance for unauthorized construction of barns/unauthorized cultivation by registered growers.
  4. To discourage excess and unauthorized production, Government of India, under the Tobacco Board Act, 1975, permits the sale of excess and unauthorized tobacco on the auction platform subject to levy of penalties.
  5. Tobacco Board is working continuously in collaboration with the Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI) to provide economically sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing farmers.
  6. Tobacco Board in coordination with State Agricultural Department of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka is creating awareness about the scheme of Crop Diversification Programmes (CDP) under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (R.K.V.Y) among the FCV tobacco growers for shifting to alternative crops.

Every year, Board lays down the production policy and fixes crop size for Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka separately. As per the production policy, Tobacco Board issues a circular to the field staff in both states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka separately on registration of Virginia Tobacco growers and barn operators, soil region wise production quotas to be authorised per licenced barn along with instructions on various steps to be taken to regulate the production to the crop size fixed by the Board and control excess and unauthorised production.

Tobacco Board undertakes various production regulation measures through, group meetings in the villages, mass contact programs, electronic/news media, distribution of pamphlets, in the major tobacco growing villages to regulate production and to prevent excess/unauthorized production of FCV tobacco.

Tobacco Board also issues a circular to the Field Staff to organize awareness meetings to promote the cultivation of alternative crops to FCV tobacco.

This information was given by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

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