Minister of Agrarian Development meets with representatives of the tobacco sector

18 . JUL . 2023 Releases

July 2023 – Delegation composed of representatives from the tobacco supply chain had a meeting, this Thursday July 13, with the minister of Agrarian Development, Paulo Teixeira, in Brasília, to address the concerns of the sector about the 10th Conference of the Parties, organized by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The group was composed of the president of the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco), Iro Schünke; the president of the Tobacco Growers’ Association of Brazil (Afubra), Benício Albano Werner; the executive director of the Brazilian Tobacco Industry Association (Abifumo), Giuseppe Lobo; and the executive director of the Bahia State Tobacco Industry Union (Sinditabaco-BA), Marcos Souza.

The group stressed the economic and social importance of the production and export of tobacco for Brazil and addressed the concern about the Brazilian stance at the meeting in Panamá, particularly with regard to a possible interference with the cultivation of tobacco. The minister, in turn, made it clear to the group that he is favorable to the present regulation of the sector, but contrary to replacing this crop. According to Teixeira, the farmers must be assured the right to grow tobacco, especially in light of the good economic results for the Country. He also strongly recommended that the sector should invest in the production of tobacco with the use of bioinputs.

SindiTabaco president Iro Schünke took the opportunity to inform about the research works that clearly demonstrated that tobacco is one of the commercial crops that uses the least amount of pesticides. “The companies have invested in biological pest control methods and have always sought the best solutions when it comes to farmers’ health and safety”, he commented. He also reinforced the understanding about the regulation implemented by Brazil. “We have a good grasp of the health issues that involve our product, but while there is demand we need to preserve the jobs and the income generated by the supply chain”, Schünke said.

WHY TOBACCO? – In addition to guaranteed sales, the income is a determining factor. In the past growing season, the income derived from tobacco by the 128 thousand tobacco farmers in South Brazil exceeded the amount of R$ 9.5 billion. The most recent Census of Agriculture, carried out in 2017 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), attests that 3.9 million rural holdings in Brazil were characterized as holdings occupied by small-scale farmers and the crops produced in these holdings generated total revenue of R$ 107 billion, representing an average of R$ 27.4 thousand per farm. For the sake of comparison, it is worth mentioning that in the 2016/17 growing season, from tobacco farming the farmers derived an average amount of R$ 40.5 thousand, up 32% from the average in Brazil. What also deserves to be mentioned is that, as the tobacco farmers are diversified, they have other income sources, but tobacco stands out for the income generated by small holdings: is spite of the fact that the crop occupied only 17% of the property during the period, tobacco represented, on average, 52% of the farmers’ income, according to Afubra sources.

Photos: Divulgação

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