Tobacco farming reducing in India
New Delhi January 02: The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) had made budgetary allocations from 2015-16 onwards as Central share under Crop Diversification Programme (CDP), an ongoing sub-scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) to encourage tobacco growing farmers to shift to alternative crops/cropping system in tobacco growing states informed the Minister of State for Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
State and year-wise budgetary allocations (Central share) made under CDP from 2015-16 to diversify tobacco farming in the tobacco producing States is as under:
(Rs. in lakh)
Under CDP, tobacco growing States have given flexibility to take suitable activities/ interventions for replacing the tobacco to alternative crops/cropping system as per the cost norms approved under any Centrally Sponsored Scheme/ State Scheme. The States may also organize study tours/ exposure visits and campaigns etc. for highlighting harmful effects of tobacco and long term benefits of alternative crops under CDP. In order to encourage tobacco growing farmers to shift to other crops, a National Seminar on Crop Diversification sponsored by DAC&FW was organized by the ICAR-Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI) at Rajahmundry to exchange information and experiences of various stakeholders on various issues relating to tobacco diversification. In addition to above, DAC&FW is also supplementing the efforts of the States through implementation of various Crop Development Programmes on Agriculture/Horticulture crops.
As per the reports of the State Governments, tobacco area shifted to other crops are; 1,16,635 hectares in Andhra Pradesh, 446 hectares in Bihar, 13,858 hectares in Gujarat, 1500 hectares in Karnataka, 636 hectares in Tamil Nadu, 120 hectares in Telangana, 2072 hectares in Uttar Pradesh and 2928 hectares in West Bengal from 2015-16. Besides, the State Government of Odisha has also reported diversion of tobacco area to alternate crops in an area of 5370 hectares from 2001-02 to 2017-18.
The research work carried out by ICAR- CTRI, Rajahmundry revealed that a remunerative cropping system rather than a sole crop can be a viable alternative to sole tobacco crop. Alternative crops/cropping systems like maize, wheat, ragi, cotton, soybean, mustard, castor, groundnut, black gram, red gram, green gram, chilly, chickpea, potato, ginger, sugarcane, turmeric, moringa, oil palm etc. have been identified for the tobacco growing areas in different states. The most preferred diversified suitable crops adopted for farming reported by the states are as under;
|S.No.||State||Diversified preferred crops adopted for farming|
|1||Andhra Pradesh||Bengal gram, Black gram, Green gram, Jowar, Maize, Oilseeds crops & Hybrid Vegetables|
|2||Bihar||Vegetables like Carrot, Raddish, Cauliflower/Cabbage, Okra, Tomato, Chili, Brinjal, Pumpkin/ Sponge Gourd/ Bitter Gourd/Cucumber/Ridge Gourd, Pea and Onion|
|3||Gujarat||Wheat, Pulses, Nutri Cereals (Jowar, Bajra), Paddy & Cotton|
|4||Karnataka||Cereals/Millets, Pulses, Sugarcane, Oilseeds, Horticultural crops (Mango, Banana, Papaya) Flowers, Plantation crop and Vegetables|
|5||Odisha||Hybrid Maize, Millets, Vegetables, Oil Seeds (Groundnut & Mustard),
Cropping system like Vegetable- Maize/ Millets, Vegetables-Groundnut/ Mustard, Vegetables- Urd/Bengal gram, Vegetables- Vegetables
|6||Tamil Nadu||Hybrid Maize, Chilli, Brinjal & Tomato|
|7||Telangana||Rainfed Black soils: Soybean + Pigeon pea and Cotton + Pigeon pea, Rainfed Red soils: Groundnut under irrigation, Alluvial soils inundated up to September: Chickpea and Chillies|
|8||Uttar Pradesh||Lentil, Gram, Mustard & Wheat|
|9||West Bengal||Mustard, Winter Vegetables, Potato, Wheat & Hybrid Maize|
DAC&FW has not formed any Inter-Ministerial Committee under Crop Diversification Programme. However, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee of Secretaries in November, 2014 at the national level under the chairpersonship of Cabinet Secretary having representatives from different Ministries/ Departments, including Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to review and develop a comprehensive policy on tobacco and tobacco related issues. During the 1st meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee of Secretaries (CoS), held in December, 2014, at Cabinet Secretariat, the CoS recommended that the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare being the core and nodal Ministry for World Health Organization – Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC), should co-ordinate with all Departments concerned on matters related to compliance of obligations under WHO-FCTC.