Government Requesting Tobacco Farmers to Grow Maize

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Background

According to scientists, years of excessive tobacco cultivation in hilly lands in Sri Lanka had led to soil erosion. It is mainly because farmers abandoning tobacco cultivation lands in which tobacco was grown for more than a decade, due to continuously lowering yield.[1] Scientists and the governments around the world see Maize as a good alternative to tobacco cultivation as it is a food crop, has better return for investment and more environment friendly.[1][2][3]

In 2007 January, Sri Lankan government requested farmers, especially tobacco farmers to grow maize to reduce importation of maize into the country.[4][5]

Industry Response

Rukshan Gunatilaka, the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) Leaf Manager declared through a press briefing that they communicated a plan to grow maize in 150ha areas of tobacco cultivated lands. He described the plan as a “partnership” with the government that includes training of CTC’s tobacco extension staff by the Department of Agriculture on growing Maize.[4]

Tobacco Unmasked Resources

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Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 C Egodawatta, P Stamp, R Sangakkara. Uncovering the Footprints of Erosion by On-Farm Maize Cultivation in a Hilly Tropical Landscape, Agriculture 2013(3), 556-566; doi:10.3390/agriculture3030556, accessed May 2017
  2. M Peiris. Farmers to opt to cultivate other crops instead of tobacco, 05 July 2016, accessed May 2017
  3. The Daily Star. Maize replacing tobacco, 06 January 2017, accessed May 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 Nation.lk. CTC farmers to plant maize with tobacco, 02 September 2007, accessed May 2017
  5. Financial Times. Govt. asks CTC farmers to plant maize with tobacco, 02 September 2007, accessed May 2017