The Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA), representing farmers from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat, on Thursday protested in front of the World Health Organisation (WHO) office here, demanding transparency in decision-making in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The protesters appealed to the Prime Minister and Health & Family Welfare Minister, among others, to boycott the WHO – FCTC COP7, being hosted by India from November 7-12.

“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 release, adding that despite making several representations, the concerns of tobacco farmers had been ignored by WHO.

FAIFA is urging the government to include the tobacco farmers in the official Indian delegation to the upcoming conference or else boycott the conference.

B.V. Javare Gowda, President, FAIFA said: “We appeal to the policy makers to reject FCTC proposals, which are not evidence-based.”