Tobacco (tamhakhu), betel-leaves (nagvel), and ajwan seed (owa) which can generally be included under the category of drugs and narcotics are the only crops which are produced in the district. Their importance in the economy of the district, however, is negligible as they are grown on a very small scale. They together occupied 188-988 hectares (467 acres') of land in 1961-62. Of these ajwan seed alone occupied 125.048 hectares (309 acres) and tobacco and betel-leaves occupied 33.994 hectares (84 acres) and 27.947 hectares (74 acres) respectively. In 1961-62 in the whole of State owa was produced only in Dhulia district.


Owa is grown for its medicinal value and also for its use as a condiment or spice. It is broadcast in the garden land during any time of the year and in the fields with the dry crops usually in July and August. The seed rate is about 0.907 to 1.361 kg. (2 to 3 pounds) per acre. It matures within a period of about three months.


Tobacco (tamhakhu) is a minor crop in the district. It was first sown in 1868 by Mr. Ashburner in his garden near Dhulia. Its seed was first brought from Cuba, Havannah and Shiraz seed was supplied by Dr. Balfour of Hyderabad. It occupied an area of 33.994 hectares (84 acres) in 1961-62 of which 30.351 hectares (75 acres) were found in Akrani mahal. Tobacco seed is sown in the seed-beds during the first week of July and the seedlings are transplanted by about the second or the third week of August when they are about 10.2 mm. (four inches) high. They are usually covered with straw to protect them from the sun. Three or four waterings are given. After about one and a half months the flowering shoots appear; they are nipped off and about 12 leaves are left on the plant. The lower yellowish leaves are also removed. The crop becomes ready for harvest by the middle of January when the colour of the leaves turns from green to golden yellow with brown spots and the tips show signs of drying. The plants are then cut early in the morning and kept in the field in a topsv-turvy direction and close to each other. They are also kept for sun-drying for about seven days.


Betel-leaf (nagvel or pan), a garden crop, was produced only on 29.947 hectares (74 acres) in Nandurbar taluk a in the district in 1961-62. The crop needs abundant supply of water. In order to support the vines, numerous trees such as shevri, pangera etc. are planted. The garden is planted with cuttings obtained from the best shoots of the older plants. Leaf-picking is generally started at the end of the second year and then it is repeated after every fourth month.