Talking to this scribe, the officials of PTB said that the existing tobacco production not only meets domestic requirements rather sufficient tobacco is available for export. The tobacco farmers were therefore, advised to plan production and enter into agreements with tobacco companies of their own choice.
Production of “Quality” of tobacco is the main factor influencing trade of tobacco at international as well as domestic level. Tobacco crop is a highly attention demanding crop and needs special care of cultivation during all stages of cultivation from nursery level to curing/marketing. Growers of tobacco should be acquainted with effects of all ‘inputs’ applied on tobacco crop. Best quality of tobacco will indeed attract large number of blenders and not only will domestic industries flourish rather would help increase in demand for Pakistani tobacco internationally.
PTB, he said in pursuance of assigned functions is making strenuous efforts for promotion of export of tobacco so as to fetch foreign exchange for the country. The Board has therefore, geared up its research and development activities to improve the yield and quality of tobacco. These efforts have given successful results and export has been greater than before as during 2011 tobacco worth $27 million was exported to various countries of the world as compared to 2010 where it was worth $14 million.
Considerable improvements have been brought in quality of tobacco and the tobacco farmers have now been able to meet the consumer’s flavour not only with in the country rather internationally.
But, auxiliary efforts are still required to further improve the quality of tobacco to bring to an end of import of tobacco and enhance exports. In this connection various trials were previously made by PTB on cultivation of winter tobacco. Encouraging results have been got by PTB but still it requires further research to get maximum satisfaction of PTB and then to launch in the market for cultivations.
PTB has initiated research on cultivation of tobacco for development of Cigar. For such a purpose budget provision was allocated for purchase of land in the province of Sindh. The PTB has made strenuous efforts and enabled the farmers to adopt modern techniques of cultivation and technology including deep ploughing, recommended insecticides, pesticides, weedicides in cultivation of tobacco, topping , suckering, use of polythene sheets, etc as well as seeds of recommended varieties of tobacco for getting better quality and high yield. Moreover, due to intensive research and transfer of technology, the tobacco farming has become a very profitable crop with respect to employment of net income for the growers.
The farmers of tobacco are enjoying good living standard in the society. They are neither willing to switch over to other crops nor reduce their crop. Some years back, a very critical situation was created due to over production of tobacco which was very tactfully handled by Pakistan Tobacco Board and Tobacco companies were compelled to purchase the surplus tobacco at pro-rata basis.
Pertinent to mention is another fact that PTC has successfully launched cultivation of FCV tobacco at Punjab through modern techniques. MLO-487 is applicable only at the province of KP. The surplus production is once again expected during 2013 crop because of the fact that the requirements of tobacco companies have been reduced whereas the volume of crop is expected as the same.