Tobacco is an extremely important commercial crop in India, generating enormous socio-economic benefits in terms of agricultural employment, farm incomes, revenue generation and foreign exchange earnings.

Tobacco provides livelihood to 45.7 million people in the country

Type Millions Source
Farmers 6 22nd Report of the Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation (10th Lok Sabha)
Farm Labour 20
Bidi/Factory workers 8.5 Reply to Lok Sabha starred question no.180 dated August 19, 2013; Industry estimates
Tendu Leaf Pluckers 4 * M.P. Govt. Ad. (TOI, June 8, 2000)
Trade/Retailers 7.2 A.C. Nielsen Retail Census – 2014
Total 45.7

* While the M.P. Govt. referred in the source estimated the number of Tendu Leaf Pluckers at 2.2 million, the latest Industry estimates put the number at 4 million.

In addition to the 45.7 million people who directly depend on tobacco Industry, there are millions who indirectly earn their livelihood from the Tobacco Industry such as people engaged in packaging, warehousing, flavour & fragrance, paper, jute, mentha, areca nut, transporters etc.