Agri Business

Tobacco control: Indian farmers want to be heard at WHO meet

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018

Over one lakh farmers have signed an appeal, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting representation at the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) seventh Conference of Parties of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) that will be held in India between November 7 and 12.

The tobacco industry has been alleging that the strict regulations proposed by the WHO on tobacco are not “evidence based”.

They have been appealing with the government to be included in the official delegation to the FCTC “to promote balanced regulations to safeguard the interests and livelihood of millions of small farmers and rural workers and their families,” according to the Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA), an umbrella organisation that represents farmers of commercial crops in States such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat.

“Ad hoc decisions on tobacco control at this conference, as in previous such meetings, will affect the livelihood of millions of tobacco farmers and farm labourers involved in tobacco cultivation in the country,” FAIFA said in a statement.

The appeal has also been submitted to the Health, Agriculture, Commerce, Labour and Finance ministries.

BV Javare Gowda, President, FAIFA, said: “A democratic and participative approach in the formation of the Indian delegation to COP7 will ensure that the farmers and the industry viewpoint on various proposals arising out of the COP7 agenda is taken cognizance of and no unilateral and discriminatory one-sided decision is taken by the Parties to the Conference that is hostile to the livelihood of millions dependent on tobacco.”

Published on September 29, 2016

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