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RKVY Encourages Tobacco Farmers to Shift to Alternative Crops

Central Tobacco Research Institute (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. 

Tobacco growing States have given the 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. Informed by Minister of State for Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

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. 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) 

S. No. 

State 

2015-16 

2016-17 

2017-18 

2018-19 

Andhra Pradesh 

787.00 

945.00 

210.10 

210.10 

Bihar 

67.00 

80.00 

17.80 

17.80 

Gujarat 

754.00 

905.00 

201.23 

201.23 

Karnataka 

600.00 

720.00 

160.08 

160.08 

Maharashtra 

11.00 

13.00 

2.86 

2.86 

Odisha 

9.00 

11.00 

2.45 

2.45 

Tamil Nadu 

20.50 

24.00 

5.33 

5.33 

Telangana 

38.50 

47.00 

10.47 

10.47 

Uttar Pradesh 

143.00 

172.00 

38.21 

38.21 

10 

West Bengal 

70.00 

83.00 

18.47 

18.47 

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 

Andhra Pradesh 

Bengal gram, Black gram,  Green gram, Jowar, Maize, Oilseeds crops & Hybrid Vegetables 

Bihar 

Vegetables like Carrot, Raddish, Cauliflower/Cabbage, Okra, Tomato, Chili, Brinjal, Pumpkin/ Sponge Gourd/ Bitter Gourd/Cucumber/Ridge Gourd, Pea and Onion 

Gujarat 

Wheat, Pulses, Nutri Cereals (Jowar, Bajra), Paddy & Cotton 

Karnataka 

Cereals/Millets, Pulses, Sugarcane, Oilseeds, Horticultural crops (Mango, Banana, Papaya) Flowers, Plantation crop and Vegetables 

Odisha 

Hybrid Maize, Millets, Vegetables, Oil Seeds (Groundnut & Mustard), 

Cropping system like Vegetable- Maize/ Millets, Vegetables-Groundnut/ Mustard, Vegetables- Urd/Bengal gram, Vegetables- Vegetables 

Tamil Nadu 

Hybrid Maize, Chilli,  Brinjal & Tomato 

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 

Uttar Pradesh 

Lentil, Gram, Mustard & Wheat 

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. 



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