India is the second largest tobacco growing country in the world with tobacco supporting the livelihood of 45.7 million people including farmers, farm workers, retailers, women, tribals etc.
However, it is a matter of great concern to us that due to the interference of NGOs in Policy making and many years of discriminatory & extreme regulatory policy against the cigarette industry, farmers of FCV Tobacco are in great financial distress and under huge livelihood pressure.
While FAIFA as a representative body of farmers has been agitating and representing to the government for a roll-back of some of the extreme measures implemented in recent times, such as the 85% Pictorial Warning, we also demand that no new regulatory impositions should be brought against the tobacco industry which can have a direct impact on our produce and income thereby increasing the distress and pressure that we find ourselves under.
In November 2016, India hosted the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). This Conference, being held every two year, plays an important role in promoting extreme and damaging tobacco regulation for the future without any scientific basis and which will prove destructive not only to India but also to the entire world.
We the tobacco farmers of the country, note with concern the secretive manner in which COP deliberations are held and are extremely apprehensive that some FCTC proposals on tobacco control would put at risk the livelihood of millions of tobacco growers and others dependent on tobacco without providing any scientifically proven public health benefit.