|African tobacco farmers oppose WHO ban|
|Thursday, 14 June 2012 11:31|
“By restricting the available land for tobacco farming, denying farmers political and commercial rights to engage with governments through tobacco boards or commissions and ban leaf auctions, these advocate groups directly threaten jobs and livelihoods of millions of farm families worldwide,” said ITGA in a statement.
“We note with great concern that the working group responsible for these proposals is being driven by health officers with little to no real world knowledge of agriculture, tobacco farming, or the challenges faced by farmers and farm workers living in rural areas,” said ITGA.
The association urged governments to defend the interests of tobacco farmers that provide employment and income for many African farmers and families by rejecting the draft policy recommendations for Articles 17 and 18 and urging other governments to reject recommendations that destroy tobacco farmers’ livelihoods;
The association challenged tobacco farming communities to collectively defend their land, jobs and livelihood from efforts to deny the right to produce the legal crops that better assure their economic pros- perity.
“We reaffirm the right of farmers to choose to grow tobacco for a living and recognise that tobacco provides a secure and stable income for hundreds of thousands of African farmers,” said the association.
The ITGA represents millions of tobacco workers and farming communities in Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.