High Court of India rules farmers have a right to be heard at upcoming tobacco control conference Growers seek :
- Proper consultation and active participation in the development of policies directly affecting them – specifically, the upcoming WHO FCTC Conference of the Parties (CoP) meeting in November;
- Recognition of the significant economic contribution tobacco - growing brings to their national economies; and
- Solid impact assessments to be carried out when the Convention proposes measures.
Millions of tobacco farmers spanning fifteen countries across the globe today celebrated the Fourth World Tobacco Growers ' Day (WTGD) , an initiative launched by the International Tobacco Growers' Association (ITGA) in 2012 to help raise awareness of the concerns of tobacco - growing communities worldwide .
Growers from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Philippines , Indonesia, India, Macedonia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe took part in the activities , promoting tobacco - growing and the significant contribution that it brings to their respective regions and countries .
Speaking on behalf of its membership, ITGA President, Mr. Daniel Green, commented: " Tobacco-growers provide a legal crop for a legal market-something governments must recognize. This is not only an important, but in most cases, the main cash crop for many agriculture-based economies, and it helps to enhance the livelihoods of millions of farmers, rural workers and their families across the globe . On the occasion of WTGD, growers call on their governments to assure a sustainable future for them and their families in the face of the many uncertainties facing the tobacco market as a result of steep declines in demand and the absence of viable alternatives for farmers, to ensure the subsistence of tobacco-growing communities . " A number of strict regulatory measures for tobacco growers are set to be discussed at the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), in Delhi , India (7 -‐ 12 November).
Previously, the FCTC has excluded tobacco growers from not only participating in past meetings but from observing the proceedings from public galleries and have not been afforded one single opportunity to present the realities of their sector.
The High Court of India, in response to concerns raised by the Federation of All India Farmers Association (FAIFA) recently ruled that the farmers have the right to apply as an observer at the Conference as growers around the world are currently excluded from proper representation at the Conference.
Note to the Editor :
In many countries, tobacco is the main cash crop for farmers and as such, is an important and irreplaceable source of income. In Malawi, for instance, a country where more than half of the population lives in extreme poverty -‐ mostly in rural areas -‐ tobacco exports account for 70 percent of foreign currency income, and tobacco -‐ growing generates 1.8 million direct jobs and almost 5 million jobs indirectly across the entire tobacco supply chain . (http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/malawi/overview ). African tobacco sector infographics (link to infographics) http://tobaccoleaf.org/UserFiles/file/Infographic/AFRICA_INFOGRAPHICS.pdf
In Latin America, the growing sector generates over one million jobs, and in countries such as Brazil , foreign currency income from tobacco -‐ growing amounts to US$2 . 15 billion per annum . Latin American tobacco sector infographics (link to infographics) http://tobaccoleaf.org/UserFil es/file/Infographic/Americas_Infographic.pdf
Meanwhile, in Asia, in the case of Indonesia, tobacco sales account for 11.3 percent of sales taxes and surtaxes, according to the Indonesian Ministry of Finance, while the sector generates almost 2 million direct jobs and the tobacco value chain as a whole, some 6 million jobs. Asia Tobacco Sector infographics (Link to infographics) http://tobaccoleaf.org/UserFiles/file/Infographic/ASIA.pdf
About ITGA :
The International Tobacco Growers' Association (ITGA) is a non - profit entity that promotes the cause of millions of tobacco growers around the world. The ITGA advocates for the inclusion of tobacco growers in global discussions, trying to provide them with a strong collective voice in the international arena to ensure protection for them and their families. Read more here: www.tobaccoleaf.org ###
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