India earned the distinction of being the world’s third largest producer of tobacco in 2012-13 with an estimated production of 681 million kilos, next only to China and Brazil and the second largest exporter of FCV tobacco with Brazil leading the table.

Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco, which is the main exportable variety produced in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, accounted for about 263.55 million kilos of the total production (of tobacco), according to Tobacco Board Chairman K. Gopal.

He stated in a press release that India makes a significant contribution to the national economy by earning about US$ 914.43 million foreign exchange (2012-13) besides accruing US$ 3.65 billion (2012-13) to the exchequer by way of excise levies on manufactured tobacco.

The tobacco industry is providing employment to nearly 38 million people, who are engaged in the various processes of tobacco cultivation, curing, grading, manufacturing and marketing.

Nearly 76,100 metric tons (mt) of unmanufactured tobacco is exported to Western Europe between April 2012 and March 2013 followed by about 47,350 mt to South & Southeast Asia and nearly 30,710 mt to East Europe. The grand total quantity of unmanufactured tobacco exports stood at 228,025 mt.

Exports of tobacco products during the year 2012-13 declined by four per cent in quantity terms.

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