SOIL TYPES- (Its characteristics, jurisdiction, major varieties grown, average yield, export potential, crop season)
In India, FCV (Flue Cured Virginia) Tobacco is cultivated mainly in the states of AP & Karnataka followed by Orissa & Maharastra in small areas in various soil zones under varied rainfall conditions.
Andhra Pradesh:- (including Orissa & Maharastra regions)
Northern Black Soils (NBS)
The black soils located in the districts of Khammam, Karimnagar, Warangal, East and West Godavari constitutes the Northern Black soils. The crop is grown under rain fed conditions presently in around 2500 hectares. The crop is generally planted in October and harvested in Dec-Feb. With cultivation of high yielding varieties the per hectare yields are up to 1500-1700 Kgs. The suitable varieties for cultivation in this soil zone are Hema, and VT1158. The tobacco produced is good bodied with lengthy leaf, lemon orange flashy in colour with medium nicotines. The tobacco is mostly preferred by CIS and Eastern European Markets. The domestic cigarette industry uses very little quantity of tobacco from this region.
Central Black Soils (CBS)
The black soils existing in Krishna and Guntur districts of Andhra Pradesh and Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra state constitute the central black soils. The main varieties grown are Gowtami, Hema, and VT1158. The crop is planted in Oct-Nov and harvested in Dec-Feb. The crop is grown under rain fed conditions presently in around 2800 hectares. The yields are up to 1500 to 1650 Kgs/Ha. The tobacco produced in this tract is almost similar to that of Northern black soils. Preferred for exports mostly to CIS, Eastern European and West Asia & North African markets, Japan also used to import sizable quantities of tobacco from select areas of this region in the past. The domestic cigarette industry also uses sizeable quantity. However, the area under FCV Tobacco cultivation is gradually decreasing as growers are switching over to alternative crops for various reasons.
Southern Black Soils (SBS)
The black soils present in Prakasam and Nellore districts nearer to the coast constitute the Southern black soils. Presently the crop is cultivated in about 30,000 hectares. The crop is planted in Oct-Nov and harvested in Dec-Feb. The popular varieties grown are Hema, VT1158 and Siri. The average yields are around 1500 Kgs/ha. With the cultivation of high yielding varieties, the average productivity levels are on increase at about 1500-1600 kgs per ha. The tobacco produced is lemon to lemon orange in color and medium bodied. This tobacco is rated better in quality than the NBS/CBS tobaccos. It is highly amenable for blending with other styles of tobacco in Cigarette manufacturing and hence preferred for export to West Asia, North African countries (Egypt and Libya), Nepal and to CIS countries. Sizeable quantities are also exported to West Europe. Half of the production goes for domestic cigarette manufacturing.
Southern Light Soils (SLS)
The light soils existing in Prakasam and Nellore districts constitute the southern light soils (SLS). Presently this crop is cultivated in about 65,000 hectares. The soils are suitable for growing good quality tobacco as a semi monsoon crop. The suitable varieties are Jayashree, Hema and VT-1158. The crop is planted in September-October and harvested in Dec-Jan. The yields are around 1000 kgs/ha. Erratic rainfall and drought situations generally affect yields in this zone. The leaf is lemon to lemon orange in colour, thin to medium bodied, ripe and open grain with good aroma and low in nicotine. This crop is preferred for export to UK, South East Asia and other EEC countries. All the MNCs prefer this tobacco. The domestic manufacturers use substantial quantities of this region tobacco for home consumption.
Northern Light Soils (NLS)
The light soils existing in East and West Godavari and parts of Khammam districts constitute the Northern light soils (NLS). Presently this crop is cultivated in about 25,000 ha. The soils are sandy to sandy loam. The crop is raised with the help of 7-8 irrigations, producing semi flavourful tobacco. The crop is planted in Sept-Oct and harvested in Dec-Feb. The yields are ranging between 1800-2000 kgs/ha depending on stage of topping. The suitable varieties are K326, 16/103, MCNair-12, Gold Streak and NLS-4. The leaf is medium to heavy bodied, ripe open grained, orange to deep orange in color and fluffy in nature. Mostly exported to UK & other European countries & South East Asia. All the MNCs prefer this tobacco. Sizeable quantities are also used in domestic manufacturing. The Light soils existing in the Rayagada district of Orissa and Vijayanagaram district of Andhra Pradesh constitute Eastern Light Soils and tobacco is cultivated in an area of around 200 ha. and the characteristics of tobacco produced is almost similar to that of Northern Light Soils of Andhra Pradesh.
Karnataka Light Soils (KLS)
The light soils existing in Mysore, Hassan, Shimoga, Davangere, Coorg, Chikkamagalore and Chitradurga districts constitute the light soils of Karnataka. The crop in this transitional zone is raised as a monsoon crop with sufficient rainfall during the crop growth period. Presently the crop is grown in about 85000 hectares. The crop is planted in the last week of Apr-May and harvested in July-Aug. The per ha yields are around 1250 kgs. The varieties under cultivation are Kanchan, Bhavya, K326, Ratna and KST-19. The tobacco produced is light to medium bodied, lemon orange to orange in color, soft in nature, open grained with nicotine of 1.5 to 2.2%. West European, some African, Middle East and South East Asian countires mostly prefer this tobacco.