Tobacco is a commercial non-food plant that is consumed by smoking and by chewing. It’s used in the manufacturing of cigarettes. It’s widely grown in the West Nile region of Uganda e.g. Arua, Adjumani, Nebbi, Yumbe, and Moyo. Other areas where it’s grown in Uganda include; Kiryandongo, Nakasongola, Kigezi, Bushenyi, Wakiso, Mubende, Masindi, Oyam, and in Soroti.
In Tanzania, it’s grown around the Urambo area within the Miombo woodlands, Tabora, Songea, and Iringa.
In Kenya, it’s grown in Kikuyu land e.g. Nyeri and Nyahururu, and also near Eldoret, Kitale, Nakuru, and Limuru.
The following are the conditions for tobacco farming
- Warm temperatures of between 13-27°C for proper maturity of the crop.
- An average altitude of between 900-1500m above sea level for proper growth.
- Light and well-drained fertile sandy-loamy soils for the growing of the crop.
- Moderate rainfall of about 380-500mm needed in the first 31/2 months for the growing of the crop.
- Warm and moist conditions during the ripening and harvesting period.
- Gently sloping and extensive land for growing the crop.
- Abundant and cheap labour force needed for planting, weeding, spraying and harvesting of the crop.
- Protection from strong winds by practicing agro-forestry.
- Alternate spraying to control pests and diseases e.g. aphids and leaf rust.
- Adequate capital needed for buying fertilizers, pesticides and farm implements.
- Presence of ready market which is both local and international to buy the crop.