Erratic and poor rainfall has reduced area under tobacco cultivation nearly 17 per cent to 90,000 hectares in Karnataka.

“Due to insufficient rains and lack of moisture, the planting area has seen sharp reduction this crop year,” Mr K.N. Vishakantaiah, Regional Manager, Tobacco Board, told Business Line.

“Tobacco growing taluks of Hunsur, Peryapatna, KR Nagar and Hassan are experiencing dry weather condition. The area had good rainfall up to May and had few showers in June,” he added.

Rains in May facilitated early plantation in about 60,000-65,000 hectares. Rains in June, saw another 25,000-30,000 hectares being added.

Crop assessment

“Growers now need good amount of rains, in the next 10 to 15 days, for quality crop. Rains now can save early plantation and facilitate growth in late planting areas,” said Mr Vishakantaiah.

“It is too early to assess the quality of the crop. But, the fear of unregistered growers’ and their effect on the market needs fresh assessment in the wake of prevailing dry weather condition,” he added.

The State has about 42,000 registered growers and around 57,000 registered barns. There are about 40,000 unauthorised barns according to the Tobacco Board estimate.

Early this year, the Board had cut Karnataka’s crop size to 98.57 million kg (mkg) from last year’s 101.6 mkg.

Additional salesyard

Tobacco Board is establishing additional auction platform at Shantipura village in HD Kote, Mysore district.

Former Union minister and Member of Parliament, Mr Oscar Fernandes, will lay the foundation stone for the centre. This will be the second auction platform in HD Kote and the 12th in the State.

anil.u@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 9, 2012)
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