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The Division of Crop Improvement takes the responsibility of the crop improvement research needs of all types of tobacco grown in India. The Division comprises two disciplines, Plant Genetics and Breeding and Biotechnology. The scientists of the Division employ conventional breeding with biotechnology methods for the improvement of Indian tobacco cultivars in terms of productivity, physical & chemical quality, trade preference, resistance to biotic & abiotic stresses, reducing harmful substances like nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNA), etc. The materials developed by the Division form the basic material for carrying out research by other disciplines. Also, germplasm maintenance and enhancement, cytogenetical, genetical and molecular studies on tobacco are the important basic and strategic areas of research undertaken at the division. Production and distribution of quality seed to farmers is another key responsibility of the Division. In addition, the Division assists in the smooth functioning of the All India Network Research Project on Tobacco (AINPT) in general and crop improvement in particular.

This Division have so far instrumental in developing 98 varieties in all types of tobacco for cultivation throughout the country. All the ruling FCV tobacco varieties cultivated in India viz., Hema, VT-1158, Siri, N-98 and CTRI Sulakhana in black soils and southern light soils of Andhra Pradesh; Kanchan in Northern light soils of A.P; Kanchan, Rathna and FCH-222 in Karnataka light soils are released by the Division. Chewing varieties viz., Lichchavi, Pusa Tobacco-76, Bhagyalakshmi, Meenakshi, Meenakshi (CR), Abirami, Kaviri and Manasi; Rustica varieties viz., DD-437, Darla and Torsa; Burley variety, Banket A-1; Cheroot varieties viz., Natu Special, Bhairavi and Lanka Special are some of the prominent non-FCV tobacco varieties released. Tobacco Mosaic Virus resistant varieties like VT-1158, Godavari Special and Banket A-1; Black-shank resistant varieties like CM-12(KA), Kanchan and Bhavya; Powdery Mildew resistant variety Swarna and caterpillar resistant chewing variety, Meenakshi CR etc. are few of the resistant cultivars released by the Division. Lines resistant to tobacco caterpillar (Spodoptera litura), tobacco aphid (Myzus nicotianae), Budworm (Helicoverpa armigera) and root-knot nematodes were also developed through interspecific hybridization and biotechnological approaches. In view of the health problems associated with tobacco, a number of improved lines having lower levels of harmful substances (Tar and TSNA - Tobacco Specific Nitrosamines) have been developed. A low tar yielding FCV variety, LT- Kanchan was released for NLS area. Also, hybrids having high yield potential along with desirable leaf quality viz. FCV hybrid, CH-1 for NLS and CH-3 for KLS, chewing tobacco hybrid, Kamatchi were released for the benefit of the farming community. Due to the concerted efforts of the scientists, the yield potential of FCV varieties has increased from 1,500 to 3,300 kg/ha while in non-FCV varieties, the yield increased from 2,000 to 4,000 kg/ha. Beside the yield, cured leaf quality was also substantially improved with the release of new varieties. Efforts are on to breed tobacco varieties suitable for extraction of edible oil besides higher levels of phyto-chemicals viz., solanesol, nicotine, protein etc.

This Division is instrumental in producing and distributing the pure seed of cultivated tobacco varieties to farmers for raising uniform healthy crop. In any given season, more than 90% of the tobacco crop area is planted with the tobacco seed supplied by ICAR-CTRI and its Regional Stations. The service rendered by the Institute, to the farming community in seed production aspects is paying richer dividends in terms of increased leaf quality, higher leaf yields and greater monetary returns to the growers.

As a National Active Germplasm Site, ICAR-CTRI is giving top priority for the tobacco germplasm management. At present more than 3,300 germplasm accessions belonging to N. tabacum L and N. rustica L besides 60 wild Nicotiana species, are maintained in the Institute gene bank. Germplasm collection, maintenance, evaluation, documentation and utilization are taken up on regular basis. Germplasm accessions with desirable agronomic and quality traits and resistance to various diseases and insect pests are identified and are being exploited in varietal improvement programmes.



Development of appropriate agro-techniques to enhance the productivity of tobacco and tobacco based cropping systems on a sustainable basis. Suitable Good Agricultural practices (GAPs) were translated to the farming community of different tobacco domains by developing new concepts and approaches for sustainable tobacco production. Technologies were developed and translated to the farming community on water use efficient micro-irrigation systems for nursery production, poly tray seedling production, integrated nutrient management, organic farming, integrated farming systems, region specific fertilizer recommendation, watershed management for SLS, Drip fertigation for irrigated Alfisols, integrated weed management and alternative uses of tobacco. Since, flue curing costs about 30% of cost of production in FCV tobacco production, technologies for fuel saving viz. low profile barn, insulation with thermocole or rock-wool or straw-mit, redesigning the arrangement of barn flue pipes, modification of the barn furnace for fuel saving and reducing the cost of curing by use of alternative fuels to wood and coal were developed. Research work is under progress for integrated weed management including Orobanche, strategies to mitigate false ripening, climate resilient technologies etc., Since, tobacco is a high value cash crop; only cropping systems rather than a single crop can be next best viable alternative option to tobacco hence, Cropping systems/ crops for different agro-ecological sub-regions have been developed and recommended.


The division conducts research on the incidence and crop losses caused by insect pests and pathogens, etiology and epidemiology of diseases, bio-ecology of insect pests and developing integrated management schedules against insect pests and pathogens. The mandate of the division is to conduct basic and applied research on insect pests and disease management in tobacco and tobacco based cropping systems for development, demonstration and popularization of sustainable crop protection technologies. In order to manage the insect pest and diseases, scientists at the institute and its research station have developed several promising crop protection technologies. The work done on neem and neem based products in controlling insect pests note worthy. The entomologists have standardized mass production of bio-control agents particularly NPV. IPM modules with cultural, biological and need - based application of selective insecticides have been developed and successfully demonstrated in Farmers’ fields which helped in production of pesticide residue free tobacco for export.



The Division of Crop Chemistry and Soil Science has been entrusted with the responsibility to conduct the basic, strategic and applied research related to assessment and management of soil resource constraints for production efficiency and product quality. The priority areas of research include, soil quality management for tobacco productivity and quality, enhancing nutrient use efficiency, nutrient supplementation through organic inputs and bio-fertilizers, tobacco responses to abiotic stresses and their alleviation, development of flavour profiles and reduction of harmful substances in tobacco, and evaluation and exploitation of tobacco for alternative uses with special focus on seed oil and phyto-chemicals (solanesol, nicotine, leaf protein etc.) having potential uses in food and drug industry. This division also initiated research efforts on utilisation of solar energy and agri biomasses for curing of FCV tobacco to save the wood fuel.

The Division is equipped with the state-of-the-art laboratory facilities to backup research activities. It houses sophisticated instruments like Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer, Autoanalyser, UV-Vis Spectrophotometer, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, Photosynthetic System, Plant Canopy Analyzer, Chlorophyll Meter, Gel Documentation System, PCR Analyser, GC, GC-MS, GC-TEA, HPLC, Cigarette Smoking Machine, Zeiss Microscope and other routinely used laboratory paraphernalia.

The Division has five specialized constituent units to render services relating to Soil and Water testing, Tobacco Leaf Quality Evaluation, Pesticide Residue Analysis, Cigarette Testing and Smoke Analysis, and Seed Testing. The Division is manned with scientific and technical staff having expertise and experience to provide training and consultancy in the specific areas including soil testing and water quality assessment, tobacco leaf quality evaluation, pesticide residue analysis, cigarette and smoke testing, seed testing and tobacco curing technologies.


PME Cell deals with the day - to - day technical correspondence of the Institute, maintenance of Research Project Files (RPFs), preparation of Annual Reports, QRT Reports, Technical Reports, publication of Bulletins, Deputation of Scientists to Seminars and Symposia and Farmers Training Programmes, Arranging Radio talks, Field visits to farmers fields, Conducting Technical Programme Meetings, IRC Meetings, AINRP(Tobacco), Workshops, RAC Meetings, Seminars, Training Programmes, etc at the institute. It is headed by Principal Scientific Officer (PSO).



CTRI central library was established in 1950 to assist the researchers at the Main Institute and at its Regional Stations located at different places viz. Guntur (AP), Kandukur (AP), Jeelugumilli (AP), Vedasandur (Tamilnadu), Hunsur (Karnataka), Dinhata (W.B.), and for Burley Tobacco Research Centre (BTRC) at Kalavacharla in carrying out the R&D in different types of tobacco.


  • To procure published/unpublished literature on tobacco and other related subjects.
  • To index and abstract the selected information available in journals.
  • To prepare retrospective annotated bibliographies on different subjects.
  • To provide Current Awareness Services (CAS) and Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) services.
  • To provide reprographic and binding services.


  • Library acquired so far 13,650 books, 12,132 bound volumes of journals, 3,166 Reports/technical bulletins and Annual Reports, Newsletters of ICAR Institutes and Universities.


  • IBM Compatible PCs. 2
  • Spiral Binding System
  • Lamination Machine
  • Two LAN nodes are given to the library from central server in the ARIS Cell for internet access and files sharing


    The AKMU was established in 1998 with advanced systems and peripherals. Computer systems are provided to each Scientist and each Section and LAN connectivity is provided among all the nodes. Internet connection was provided with broadband 8 MBPS line connectivity


  • Development of software for Scientific Research. 
  • Statistical analysis of experimental data. 
  • Providing Internet connectivity with NKN of 100 MBPS line to all the systems in the main building 
  • Maintenance and updating of weather data in Meteorological Database Management System of Black Soil Farm, Katheru. 
  • Installation and Maintenance of computer systems and peripherals 


  • Intel I3 Desktop systems
  • Laser & Printers
  • Switches & Hubs


  • MSOFFICE 2010
  • SAS


Tobacco is an important commercial crop cultivated in 0.45 million ha producing annually 800 million kg of leaf. Pure seed place a vital role in obtaining uniform crop growth which inturn ensures higher yields and superior leaf quality in tobacco. In order to provide quality seed to tobacco farmers, ICAR-CTRI, Rajahmundry started producing and distributing the pure seed of released tobacco varieties to the farmers since 1952. Further, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi has sanctioned a Revolving Fund Scheme (RF Scheme) in the year 1990 with the objective of supplying pure seed and healthy seedlings of released tobacco varieties to growers for improving the yield and quality of Flue-Cured-Virginia (FCV) tobacco. Under the Scheme, annually about 8,000 kg of FCV tobacco seed and 100 kg of Lanka tobacco seed (Non-FCV) are produced and distributed to the tobacco growers in Andhra Pradesh. Quality seeds of released varieties are produced following the standard seed production practices at Institute farm or at selected farmer fields. The pure seed confirming to the seed standards are distributes to tobacco growers with ICAR-CTRI security Hologram fixed on the sachets in order to make them tamper proof.


The experimental farm attached to CTRI, Rajahmundry is situated at Katheru village, a hamlet of Rajahmundry Corporation. Farm Superintendent is the in-charge of the farm who works under the advice of Heads of divisions. The farm is spread over an area of 47.38 hectares adjacent to the river Godavari. The Fam soil is heavy black soil classified as vertisol. The Farm caters to the needs of Crop Improvement, Crop Production, Crop Chemistry & Soil Science and Crop Protection divisions for conducting various experiments. It is equipped with tractor and bullock drawn agriculture implements for cultivation of different crops, such as FCV, Burley, Natu Tobacco; Blackgram, Greengram, Horsegram, Chickpea, Maize, Soybean, Pigeonpea, Mustard, Coriander and fodder jowar.

The experimental farm has ‘A’ class Meteorological Observatory which operates under the Indian Meteorological Department, Pune. Observations on atmospheric temperature, soil temperature, total rainfall, No. of rainy days, Relative humidity, evaporation, sunshine hours, wind velocity, wind direction, dew fall and lysimeter readings are recorded daily. The weather data is also supplied to different Govt. and Non-governmental organizations.




Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) under the administrative control of Central Tobacco Research Institute was established (1983) at Kalavacharla village in Rajanagaram Mandal in East Godavari District, 20 km away from CTRI, Rajahmundry with six disciplines i.e., Crop Production, Plant protection, Horticulture, Animal Science Production, Home science and Rural Crafts supported by Audio-Visual Aids. The KVK is actively engaged in transfer of viable and need based, skill oriented and socially sustainable technologies to cater to the needs of the rural and tribal people to improve their socio-economic status. This KVK is also conducting on-farm, off-farm, front-line demonstrations, vacational training programmes and advisory service to the farming community. The KVK has well developed instructional Farm with an area of 14.38 ha where different demonstration units are maintained.


  On Farm Trials (OFTs)  

  • During the year 2016-17, a total of 10 technologies were assessed by conducting 38 on-farm trials at farmers' fields.

Highlights of OFTs:  

In chillies 'LCA-625' variety was assessed in irrigated vegetable belt of the district. This variety performed well with 49.58 q/ha compared to local hybrid of 36.12 q/ha

An assessment was conducted on the performance of virus free planting material (tissue cultured) in Coccinia in virus prone belt of East Godavari. The results revealed that, tissue cultured Coccinia performed well with 16.87 t/ha compared to existing traditional variety yielding 7.35 t/ha.

Varietal assessment of ginger indicated that, 'Maran' variety in irrigated soils of the district yielded 12.86 t/ha compared to local variety 5.18 t/ha.

An assessment was done to manage Anoestrous in Buffaloes. The results revealed that, Ovo Synch Plus hormone treatment enhanced the conception rate by 30%.

Front line demonstrations 

Cluster FLDs:

A total of 49 cluster Front-line Demonstrations (FLDs) on black gram and sesame were conducted during the year 2016-17 under DAC funded NFSM and NMOOP scheme.

To increase productivity and income of black gram, 25 demonstrations were conducted in 20 ha area with improved varieties PU-31 and TBG-104. In the demonstration average productivity of 5.75 q/ha was recorded due to adoption of improved technologies.

A total of 24 demonstrations were conducted to demonstrate production potential of technologies of Sesame in 20 ha area with improved variety YLM-66. The results revealed that, average productivity recorded was 7.5 q/ha due to adoption of improved production technologies.


Apart from cluster FLDs, a total of 11 FLDs were conducted during the year 2016-17. Highlights of FLDs are as follows.

In white burley tobacco, application of Sulphate of Potash (SOP) @100 kg / ha in equal split doses at 10 DAP and at 25 DAP resulted in leaf yield of 20 q/ha as against 16 q/ha in control i.e. no application of potash.

Weed management in cotton with Pendimethalin @ 1.5 lt/ac immediately after sowing and Quizalofop ethyl @ 400ml/ac or Pyrithiobac sodium @250 ml/ac. resulted in yield of 42 q/ha compared to 39 q/ac in farmer's practice.

In tuberose 'Prajwal' performed well with an yield of 9.5 t/ha followed by 'Hyderabad Single' with 8.7 t/ha against local variety 6.8 t/ha.

Popularized Black Bengal goats in the district and demonstrated to farmers through ATMA.

Preventive vaccination for Rabies (ARV) was administered to 300 animals and found no incidence of Rabies and animals are safe

Other Demonstrations:

Promoted the establishment of two coir fibre extraction and 2-ply yarn making units at Ramachandrapuram and Yedida.

Two coir pith composts units were promoted at Kalavacharla and Parijallipeta.

Promoted Banana fibre products making units at Aswaraopet and Warangal.

Hill broom production units were promoted at P. Chinnaipalem and Peddapuram.

Trainings/Capacity building programmes:

A total of 29 Training programme were organized during the year 2016-17.

A Training programme on Cashew Apple Utilization was organized on 20th May, 2016 in P. Chinnayapalem village of Thondangi mandal. Twenty five rural women were trained in preparation of various recipes of Cashew apple viz., Cashew apple jam, juice, chutney, pickle and chips.

Training programme on Animal Reproduction and Health Management was organized for 10 farmers from Murari, Gadarada, Gandepalli and Kalavacharla.

Training programme on Backyard poultry and Vaccination to poults was organized for 16 farmers from Murari, Gadarada, Gandepalli and Kalavacharla.

On women empowerment about 9 training programmes were organized

Extension activities/awareness programmes:

World Soil Day was celebrated on 5th December 2016 at KVK, Kalavacharla. Sri Somu Veeraaju, MLC, Rajahmundry was the guest of honour and Dr. D. Damodar Reddy, Director, ICAR-CTRI has chaired the function. On this occasion 120 soil health cards were distributed to the farmers.

Jai Kisan- Jai Vigyan Week celebrated during 23-29th December 2016 in commemoration of birth anniversary of Sri Choudary Charan Singh and Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Series of awareness programmes related to agriculture and animal husbandry were organized for farmers, school and college students.

Technology Week celebration was organised during 23-28th January, 2017 on Production Technologies of important field crops, horticultural crops and animal husbandry.