• May 19, 2024

Cultivation ban opposed

 Cultivation ban opposed

generic leaf

The government of Sri Lanka has been urged to withdraw a proposed ban on tobacco cultivation in the country, according to a story in The Colombo Gazette.
The All Ceylon Cigarette Tobacco Barn Owners’ Association said that since 2015, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Drug Prevention had recommended ‘unreasonable restrictions’ on tobacco cultivation, such as the prohibition of using even barren marginal paddy lands for such production.
In a letter to the President, the association said that despite tobacco farmers being the key drivers of national and rural economic growth, they were not consulted before such adverse recommendations were made.
‘Tobacco is a cash crop which was introduced to farmers by the Sri Lankan government in the 1950’s and fully supported by successive governments until very recently,’ the association said. ‘Under the patronage of previous governments, tobacco cultivation has been an integral part of the agriculture communities spanning around 80 years and three farmer generations.’
It said that while the proposed ban on tobacco production was understood as being driven by a World Health Organization agenda, it was clearly not the solution for the smoking problem in society.
The association urged the government to continue to allow tobacco production until an alternative crop that matched tobacco in economic value was introduced to farmers.