Tobacco exports to touch Rs 1,605 cr by Mar' 08

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Mysore, Sept 30 (UNI) Tobacco exports are likely to touch Rs 1,605 crore during the current fiscal from Rs 1,506.02 crore last year, as growers were set to export over 60 per cent of the production due to rising demand in several countries.

Tobacco Board sources told UNI the growers had come out of the recession suffered by the sector during the last few years as demand for Indian tobacco was increasing in countries such as Russia, Vietnam, the UK, Germany and Belgium.

The export potential of the country could be much more, provided the farmers were paid reasonably well for growing tobacco as was the case in countries such as Brazil and Zimbabwe. Then Indian tobacco Industry was highly taxed, particularly the cigarettes segment, in which the tax component was around 350 per cent, as against 70 per cent in Brazil and Zimbabwe, the sources pointed out.

The sources said compared to tobacco grown in these countries, the Nicotine content of Indian tobacco was much less and famous for its fascinating flavours.

In India about six million farmers were engaged in cultivation of tobacco and about 36 million people were dependent on the tobacco industry, either directly or indirectly. Of the total exports of tobacco items from the country, unmanufactured tobacco products accounted for 80 to 85 per cent and the manufactured tobacco products account for 20 to 25 per cent. Of the unmanufactured tobacco exports Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco was the single largest item accounting for 75 to 80 per cent of the tobacco exports, the sources added.

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