Economics Significance of Tobacco
Though tobacco is grown on around 0.25% of total irrigated land of Pakistan, the crop plays an important role in Pakistan’s economy by generating income and employment in the tobacco farming, manufacturing, distribution and retailing. A work force of 350,000 is directly and indirectly employed in the tobacco industry, which generate annual income of around Rs.300 billion and a source of livelihood for 1.2 million people.
There are 75,000 tobacco growers producing tobacco all over Pakistan. Out of these more than 45,000 growers are located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa producing 95% of Flue Cured Virginia over an area of 30,000 hectares in the districts of Swabi, Mardan, Charsadda, Buner and Mansehra. On average 80-85 million kg of FCV, which is the main ingredient of cigarettes, is produced by growers of these districts every year. The Sector is also one of the main contributors to the Government exchequer and sourced more than Rs.89 billion in Federal Excise Duty/ Sales Tax in FY 2013-14.