Could tobacco growing be a viable business for Ireland? Trials in Wexford show potential for the export market.

The Agricultural Institute has been carrying out tests on growing tobacco at Clonroche in County Wexford.   

It is estimated that the tobacco could yield between £1,500 to £2,000 per acre.

Tom O'Callaghan describes the success of the project which has been going on for four years.

The promise of success is quite strong.

Samples of the tobacco crop have been sent to Belgium and some of the varieties produced are proving quite successful. The most successful variety came from Belgium.

The main uses for this particular tobacco product are in French cigarettes, cigar filler tobacco, cheroots and pipe mixtures.

Tom O’Callaghan talks about the prospects for the re-introduction of commercial tobacco growing in Ireland. He acknowledges that the market for this type of tobacco in Ireland would be very limited.  However, the EEC offers a much larger potential market.

The grower simply grows the tobacco and cures it to something in the region of 25% moisture. The tobacco would then go a tobacco cooperative or similar organisation to be finished off and packaged for marketing.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 November 1975.