Tobacco harvest officially inaugurated

29 . OCT . 2021 Releases

October 2021 – This year, the Opening Ceremony of the Tobacco Harvest in the State of Rio Grande do Sul was held on Thursday, October 28, at the rural property of tobacco growing couple Oladi Lucio and Marli Schroeder, in Vale do Sol, in the district of Faxinal de Dentro. Promoted by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development (Seapdr), the festivity is an official event of the State government and relies on support from the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco), Tobacco Growers’ Association of Brazil (Afubra) and from the municipal administration of Vale do Sol. Schroeder is one of the 71 thousand tobacco farmers in Rio Grande do Sul, and Vale do Sol is one of the 206 municipalities where tobacco is produced.

On the occasion, SindiTabaco president Iro Schünke, upon making reference to the Parable of the Sower, at which only seed that fell on good soil germinated, he said that Oladi Schroeder sets an example of sowing on fertile ground. “Looking around here, it is quite clear that the seed fell on the right place, the field looks excellent, and Oladi played the role of the good sower. The best result is the set of facilities we can see here”, he stressed. “The tobacco growers, following on the heels of the good sower, seeking quality and integrity, turned the Brazil into the second largest tobacco producer and top exporter”, he added.

Schünke equally added that the Inauguration of the Harvest, held on Tobacco Growers’ Day, is an excellent opportunity to acknowledge the work of the tobacco farmers, as they contribute social and economically with the state and the country. “Approximately 10% of all Rio Grande do Sul exports last year consisted of tobacco shipments. Several mayors report that, after the arrival of tobacco in their municipalities, things changed for the better, seeing that there was an increase in tax collection for the benefit of all citizens”, he concluded.

On his part, Afubra president Benício Albano Werner, dwelt on the importance of tobacco when it comes to environmental, social and economic sustainability. “Nobody takes care about the environment the way we do at tobacco farming. In social terms, we have jobs and work, and taxes are generated, providing the governments with the means to look after healthcare and education needs”, he insisted.

Attending the ceremony, the secretary of Agriculture, Silvana Covatti, maintained that the state is celebrating record crops. “I know the battles faced by the farmers and I want to say that in the current year the small-scale farmers are celebrating great accomplishments”, she said, recalling the efforts of such segments as Emater and Fetag. “It is in the municipalities that things happen”, she cited. Addressing the federal deputies attending the ceremony, advocates of the sector, she conceded that they face unpleasant commentaries relative to tobacco farming, because of tobacco. “The fact is, we produce, generate ICMS and in the tobacco growing regions there is no unemployment, and there is food on the table”, she emphasized. 

Federal deputy Heitor Schuh, at the time he was state deputy he presented the project to create the Tobacco Farmers’ Day, said this day really exists because the entities of the sector give publicity to it. “If it had not been for the sector, this day would have been forgotten”, he commented. State deputy Kelly Moraes commented that the representatives of the political establishment, who advocate for tobacco farming, suffer attacks from many people, especially from those who do not know the sector. “We defend tobacco growing families, we fight on behalf of a legal product, which generates jobs, taxes and economy. We hope it will be a good harvest, with the results all farmers deserve”, she added.

José Valtair dos Santos, acting mayor of Vale do Sol, who worked on tobacco farming for 21 years, recalled the importance of tobacco for the municipality. “We have 2,556 tobacco growers, and they produced 12,373 tons of tobacco”, he said.

Other event attendees include regional, state and national authorities, besides entities linked with the sector.

Diversification-oriented technical term of cooperation is signed 

The agenda of the tobacco harvest opening ceremony and the celebration of the Tobacco Growers’ Day, also included the signing of the technical cooperation term of the Corn, Bean and Pastureland after Tobacco Harvest Program, which, in Rio Grande do Sul, is run in partnership with the state government, through the Secretariat of Agriculture. The diversification program is supported by the SindiTabaco, Afubra and SEAPDR, and also counts on the participation of such entities as Emater, Fetag and Farsul. The program encourages diversification moves and the maximum use of the resources of rural properties. It suggests both pasturelands and the cultivation of grain crops after tobacco harvest, as a manner to make the most of the land. The document was signed by secretary Silvana Covatti, Iro Schünke, Benício Werner, Carlos Joel da Silva and Marco Antônio dos Santos.

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