Tobacco production has been a key indicator of North’s economy for a long time. Crop lands in many parts of Jaffna are expected to be cultivated in March and April. Island areas in the Jaffna peninsula such as Velanai, Saravanai , and Pungudutheevu and other parts such as Vattukottai, Kondavil, Neerveli, and Achuveli are popular for tobacco production.
A tobacco farmer said ‘Ambikai Nagar’ area in Velanai is most popular for tobacco and farmers in Ambikai Nagar earn massively from it. ‘Tobacco production can be achieved in three stages in three months.
“Some buyers prefer fresh tobacco leaves and once cultivated they can be sold without storing, but the dry ones sell at high prices so that we do smoke beats at home for a month and then sell them at a higher price”, said a farmer in Velanai.
Farmers are aware of the green concerns and still they prefer Tobacco over other crops due to higher profitability. Some other farmers have switched to rice fields and vegetable farming due to the easiness of cultivation.