Ganji Kamalavardhana Rao, an IAS officer of the Kerala cadre, assumed charge as chairman of the Tobacco Board.
Speaking to the media, Rao said the priority would be on research to improve the quality of the crop. For this, the board would interact with the farmers and study the crop from the commercial aspect.
Rao, who took over from J Suresh Babu, said the focus would also be on educating farmers on cultivation, harvesting and processing of the leaf for better quality and price in the international market.
On farmers exceeding the permitted crop size, Rao said he would take up the issue and ensure that stern action was initiated against those who go for the crop without permission. He said he would strictly implement the crop size permits issued by the government for every crop season.
Kamalavardhana Rao, a native of Andhra Pradesh, had earlier worked as private secretary to the Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, D Purandheswari.