How to do Tobacco Cultivation? |

Tobacco cultivation

Tobacco cultivation

Tobacco Cultivation – Instant Info

What is the significance of tobacco?

Tobacco contains chemical called Nicotine

Human brain becomes highly addicted to Nicotine easily

Tobacco is the leading cause for many types of cancers and other cardiovascular and respiratory diseases

According to WHO, Every year, more than 8 million people die from tobacco use

Tobacco can also be deadly for non-smokers too who intake tobacco by passive smoking

Passive smoking or second hand smoking during pregnancy can lead to several life long adverse health conditions for babies

Heated tobacco products (HTPs) contain tobacco and expose users to toxic emissions, many of which cause cancer and are harmful to health

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS), commonly known as e-cigarettes, do not contain tobacco and may or may not contain nicotine

According to WHO, Tobacco kills up to half of its users

Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year

More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke

Over 80% of the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low- and middle-income countries

What is the botanical name and family of Tobacco?

The botanical name of tobacco is Nicotiana sp.

The genus Nicotiana contains more than 60 species

only two i.e. Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotianan rustica are commercially grown for tobacco production

Nicotiana tabacum has more area under cultivation while N. rustica requires cooler temperatures and are mostly found in North eastern India

Where does tobacco grow best? Climate and soil requirement in Tobacco cultivation?

Optimum temperature for tobacco is 15 to 20 degree C during growth period

50-100 cm annual rainfall is required for tobacco crop during growth period

Tobacco cannot stand if rainfall is more than 100cm

After harvesting to dry the leaves it requires bright sunshine & dry weather

Too dry weather is not suitable as leaves break into small pieces

Soil requirement for tobacco cultivation

Different types of soil are required for tobacco

Bidi tobacco – as rainfed crop in alluvial, black clayey or loamy soils

Cigar tobacco – grown on red soils from gravelly to sandy loams. For quality Cigar, soil should be mixed with sand

What are different Varieties of Tobacco?

Flue-Cured tobacco

Tobacco ciltivation flue cured tobacco

Harrison special, Chatham, Delcrest, Virginia gold, Kanakaprabha, Whit gold, Dhanadayi

tobacco for Bidi purpose

Tobacco plantation beedi purpose


Keliu-49, Keliu-20, Surati-20, Anand-2, Anand-3, Anand-23, Anand-119, Kunkumathiri

Natu tobacco

D G.3, D.G.4, D.R.1

Cigar filler tobacco

OL-10, VV-2, KV-1, I-462

Tobacco for Cherrot purpose

OK-1, 1-737

Tobacco for Chewing purpose

64, PV-7, WR-2, I-115, VTK-1, VD-1, S-1, P-4, S-57, Anand-145

Hookah tobacco

N.P.70, N.P.35, D.P.401, D.D.413, N.P.18, N.P.20

How do you farm tobacco? What are Cultivation practices of tobacco?

6-10 ploughing are given by way of preparatory cultivation

Digging with a spade, followed by ploughing with a mould board plough and a country plough and then a harrowing is recommend

Farmyard manure is usually applied and the dose varies from 10-125 cartloads per hectare for different types of tobacco

Application of phosphorus and potash was found beneficial for some tobaccos

What Spacing is used in tobacco?

a spacing of 80cm x 80cm for natu and the flue cured

100cm x60cm for the flue-cured

How are tobacco Nurseries prepared?

The nurseries for producing seedlings are located on sandy or sandy loams

The seed is sown on raised or flat well-prepared seedbeds with intervening channels

A seed rate of 3-5kg per hectare has been found to be the optimum for all types of tobacco

The nursery sowing is varies from state to state and types of tobaccos is given as

For the flue cured, Virginia and natu tobacco in Andhra Pradesh are sown in August-September and in Karnataka in April-May

For the bidi tobacco in Gujarat and Karnataka, the nurseries are sown in June-July for the cigar, cheroot and chewing tobaccos in Tamil Nadu in August-September

For the hookah and chewing tobaccos in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal in August-October

To protect the tender seedlings from desiccation on a sunny day and from washing off during heavy rains, different covers or mulches were found useful in different areas. Suitable control measures are to be adopted rigorously to keep the nurseries healthy

Top dressing of nitrogen is to be given, as and when required, from the third week onwards to boost the growth of the seedlings

Normally, the seedlings will be ready for transplanting in 6-8 weeks

Water should be reduced a week before removing the seedlings in order to harden them.

What is Fertilizer schedule and dosage in tobacco cultivation?

A general dose of for tobacco is 25 tonnes of farmyard manure or filter press cake as a layer; 100kg phosphorus as a basal dressing and 100kg of nitrogen as top-dressing in installments per hectare should be applied

How is Irrigation done in tobacco plantation?

Tobacco crop on light soils is given up to six irrigations while there is no need to gove irrigation if tobacco is grown on heavy black soils

The irrigation water should not contain more than 50 ppm of chlorides, as otherwise the leaves get burnt and other qualities suffer

In black soils also, in adverse conditions, one irrigation on 40 day old plants is recommended

What are the intercultural operations carried out in tobacco cultivation?

When after the plants get established i.e. about 20 days after planting, the tobacco fields are given frequent interculturing and weeding to conserve the soil moisture and check the growth of weeds

Mulching the crop with paddy straw at 3600 kg per hectare after the first interculture is beneficial in the case of the flue-cured virginia tobacco on black soils in increasing the yields and improving the quality by conserving soil moisture

Topping in tobacco

Topping is the removal of the flower head alone or along with some of the top leaves of the plant.

Most of the types of tobacco are topped and suckered for improving the size, body and quality of the leaves

The level of topping varies from type to type and ranges from high topping to the very low topping

In the case of the flue-cured virginia tobacco only the flowerhead is removed, leaving all the 20-24 leaves intact while in case of chewing tobacco only 7-8 leaves are retained on the plant

Plant protection in tobacco plantations

There are pests which infest tobacco and are given as below

Tobacco leaf-eating caterpillar

The caterpillars, when young, feed gregariously on tender leaves and juicy stems

It becomes isolated at the later stages of growth


Collection and destruction of egg masses and caterpillars and thorough ploughing after the harvest of the crop

At the early stage of infestation dusting with 10% Carbaryl at 20-25 kg/ha controls the pest satisfactory

Stem borers

The caterpillars bore into stems and caused characteristics gall-like swellings on them.


Preventive measures include the removal and destruction of the affected stems during the growth of the crop also after harvesting the crop-stray and wild tobacco plants should be destroyed

Care should be taken to plant healthy seedlings from the seedbed if infestation is noticed at the seeding stage


By constant feeding on sap, the leaves look sickly and become unfit for curing

They excrete out honeydew while feeding on plant sap, where the sooty mould (fungus) also develops

The quality of such leaves thus deteriorated

The Rosettee disease of tobacco is know to be transmitted by these aphids


Spraying with 0.02% phosphamidon, parathion, methyl demeton, thiometon or menazen effective for controlling the pest

Harvesting and Storage in tobacco cultivation

The leaves are considered ready for harvesting when the normal green colour changes to yellowish green or to light yellow

The harvesting time of different types of tobacco is different as below: –

The flue-cured Virginia tobacco is harvested during December-March in Andhra Pradesh and during July-September in Karnataka.

The bidi tobacco is harvested in January-February

The cigar and cheroot tobaccos are harvested 90-100 days after planting when the leaves pucker and become brittle and yellowish green

The chewing tobacco is harvested 110-120 days after planting when the leaves develop pronounced puckering

The hookah tobacco (rustica) is harvested in May or June, and the tabacum harvested when broad flecks appear on the leaves

The whole plants are harvested in the case of the bidi, cigar and cheroot, chewing and hookah tobaccos

The average yield of tobacco leaf per hectare is about 750kg and 950kg for the flue cured Virginia and the natu tobacco

1,000 kg, 450kg and 350kg for the bidi tobacco. 1,250 kg and 1,600 kg for the cigar and cheroot and chewing tobaccos. 950kg, 850kg and 800 kg for the hookah and chewing tobaccos


Handbook of Agriculture


Author: agristudent

Team Agristudent is a young and dynamic team of Agriculture specialists who have acquired specialised knowledge in their respective subjects. Their mission is to create a unique online encyclopedia of agriculture, which can be useful to millions around the world as an online reference library

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