Tobacco Board sets higher production target for K'taka

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Mysore, Mar 23 (UNI) The Tobacco Board has increased the production target of tobacco for Karnataka to 100 million kg for 2008-2009.

Newly-elected Tobacco Board Vice Chairman Javare Gowda told UNI the target of 100 million kg was the highest-ever fixed for Karnataka surpassing the previous highest of 95 million kg for 2007-2008.

The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the board attended by representatives of Indian Tobacco Association.

The board may even increase the crop size of tobacco further depending on the global output of the commodity, which would have a direct impact on the demand for Mysore tobacco.

The Virginia Flue Cured (VFC) tobacco grown in Karnataka, particularly in Mysore, virtually sold like hot cakes in the recently concluded tobacco season with exporters vying with each other to procure the tobacco at the auctions.

A total of 87.6 million kg of tobacco grown in Karnataka was sold out almost a month and a half before the scheduled closure of auction season last year.

An estimated 41,000 tobacco growers across Mysore and pockets of neighbouring Hassan District, who realised an average of Rs 60 a kg against the previous year's Rs 55.94 a kg, were looking forward to a large crop size this year to capitalise on the huge global demand for tobacco. The farmers were set to begin plantation work in a month's time.

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