‘Harsh policies rob tobacco farmers of livelihood’

Tobacco farmers are subjected to discrimination through harsh policies, and they are losing their livelihood in the absence of any alternative to safeguard their interests, according to a national body of farmers.

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and the Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) held a session on Wednesday to discuss with Members of Parliament the opportunities and challenges for doubling farm income by 2022.

“The Indian tobacco farmers are subjected to discrimination through harsh policies, which adversely affect their livelihood. We appeal to all MPs to demand the withdrawal of the 85 per cent warning rule [for tobacco product packs] and press for 50 per cent warning as recommended by a parliamentary committee,” FAIFA vice-president Gadde Seshagiri Rao said.

ASSOCHAM secretary-general D.S. Rawat said: “The Prime Minister has set a target for doubling farm income by 2022, and this will have a huge impact on the revival of Indian economy. However, the government must carry along all sections of farmers and should not discriminate against tobacco farmers who have made an immense contribution to India’s cash crop economy.”

FAIFA general secretary Murali Babu said that for the first time since independence, tobacco farmers committed suicide this year after the crop turned unprofitable. “The government should prevent foreign tobacco from invading the Indian markets at the present rate.”

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 8:06:34 AM |

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