Profiting from Tobacco Farming - Life Beyond Certificate

Profiting from Tobacco Farming

Tobacco Farming

Tobacco is a widely grown cash crop; it strives in warm climates and well-drained soils. It is a cost-effective business. It is grown on both a small and large scale basis. Tobacco has a high yield, and it is one of the most important raw materials in the production of cigarettes.

Cultivation of Tobacco

Tobacco plants are grown in the nursery or greenhouse using specially made seedbeds. It is vital to select viable seeds to have a good yield of the desired quality of tobacco leaves. These seeds are sown distance apart to give space and reduce competition for nutrients and sunlight.

Tobacco has tiny seeds, which amount to 10,000-13,000 seeds per gram. It sprouts up in 5 to 10 days after planting; under proper growth conditions, it grows to a height of 15-20cm in two months and is transplanted to the main farm.

Harvesting of Tobacco

Tobacco plants mature for harvest after 70-130 days from when transplanted. It is harvested in two ways:

– By picking the leaves close to the soil from bottom to top, where 3-6 leaves are harvested per tobacco stand.

-By cutting down the whole plant and removing the ripened leaves.

In Burley tobacco, the farmer cuts down the tobacco plant then removes the leaves from the stalk after curing, while in Oriental tobacco, the ripened leaves are plucked by hand one after the other.

Tobacco curing

This is a food preservation and flavourings process where special flavours and texture is added to leaves to improve their taste. This is done by introducing a certain bacteria known as Bacillus magaterum, which promotes slow oxidation and breaking down of the carotenoids present in the leaves of tobacco.

Tobacco is grouped into three types based on its curing techniques

Flue-cured TobaccoThis is a brightly coloured type of tobacco the golden-yellow is gotten when it is cured. It is cured for one week in heated bars, and it gives off a bright taste and a light aroma. It is commonly grown in Brazil, China, India and Argentina.

  • Burley Tobacco

This tobacco has light to dark brown, and it is air-cured in barns for two months. This process removes all its natural sugars and gives it a unique cigar-like taste.

  • Oriental Tobacco

This type of tobacco is sun-cured in the open, it is aromatic, and its leaves are harvested individually.

Grading and stabilization

After the leaves are cured, it is sorted according to quality and stalk position and packed individually into bales for distribution. This process is called grading. Experts grade the tobacco to assess its quality, colour, texture and aroma. It is then purchased and shipped to local factories, where it is further processed and dried together. After it is pressed and dried, it is pressed into cases for shipping worldwide. Tobacco leaves can be preserved for years.

Hazards of Tobacco Farming

Tobacco farmers are prone to disease induced by the vigorous process it takes to process tobacco. They are the risk of inhaling tobacco dust and smoke during curing, which causes respiratory disorders. Skin contact with wet tobacco leaves causes the absorption of nicotine into the body. Other harmful effects are brain disorders musculoskeletal injuries.

Salary of Tobacco Farmers in the United States

The average tobacco farmer in the US earns from $36,105-51,298 in tobacco farming. According to statistics, a hectare of tobacco is worth 2052kilograms/hectare. The average amount in the US is about $2.45 per kilogram, which costs about $2352/ha in gross margin.

Countries that Export and Produce Tobacco

This includes Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Argentina, Brazil, Malawi, Japan, and China.

How to Profit from Tobacco Farming

Tobacco farming derives profits when the leaf of tobacco is processed into a finished product: a cigarette. Manufacturing and selling tobacco-based product is a money printing business. In 2015, it was stated that the world’s biggest cigarette producers grossed a profit of over 62 billion US dollars.

Top Tobacco Profiting Companies 

Philip Morris International 144.8 billion dollars

Altria Group          

96.9 billion dollars

British American Tobacco 91.6 billion dollars


34.4 billion dollars

Japan Tobacco 34.1 billion dollars

KT&G 9.2 billion dollars

Despite the warnings by The Federal Ministry of Health on the dangers of consumption of tobacco-based products because of their addictive feature. The market is constantly on the rise with high demand for this product. Tobacco farming is a money-spinning business with cigarettes being shipped worldwide.

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