Losses from the flood suffered by the tobacco farmers in Rio Grande do Sul exceed R$ 95 million

7 . JUN . 2024 Releases

Survey concluded that 75 tobacco producing municipalities were affected by the catastrophic floods in May. A recovery plan has already been put into force and the expectation is for the maintenance of the result predicted for the upcoming crop year.



June 2024 – The flood of unheard proportions that hit the State of Rio Grande do Sul in early May this year and changed the lives of thousands of people, caused losses to nearly two thousand tobacco farmers. This was the conclusion reached by the survey conducted by the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco) and the associate companies. In this Thursday, June 6, the president of SindiTabaco had a meeting with the board of directors of the Tobacco Growers’ Association of Brazil (Afubra) and representatives of the Federation of Agricultural Workers (FETAG-RS) and the Rio Grande do Sul State Federation of Agriculture (FARSUL), in order to present and analyze the numbers.


According to SindiTabaco president Iro Schünke, the research reflects the reality of the last two weeks of May, at a time in which it was still difficult to access the areas and to communicate with the people of many districts. “Based on available information, we calculated the damages in an approximate manner, so as to dimension the amount of loss”, the officer explains. 


In all,1,929 rural properties were hit by the severe flood in 75 municipalities covered by the survey. In terms of affected farmers, the municipalities that comprise the biggest number are as follows: Candelária, where 214 tobacco farmers suffered losses, followed by Agudo (136), Barros Cassal (132), Venâncio Aires (116), Arroio do Tigre (101), Gramado Xavier (96), Segredo (89), Boqueirão do Leão (78), Ibarama (71), Passa Sete (69), Sinimbu (67), Fontoura Xavier (63), Lagoão (63), Santa Cruz do Sul (61), Vera Cruz (58) and Paraíso do Sul (50).


Considering an estimated loss amount, the ten municipalities that endured biggesst losses were Venâncio Aires (R$ 18.3 million), Candelária (R$ 16.52 million), Agudo (R$ 6.35 million), Ibarama (R$ 5.96 million), Santa Cruz do Sul (R$ 4.57 million), Vera Cruz (R$ 3.83 million), Paraíso do Sul (R$ 3.36 million), Sinimbu (R$ 2.98 million), Cruzeiro do Sul (R$ 2.47 million) and Arroio do Tigre (R$ 2.45 million).


The survey also demonstrated that 96% of the affected farmers intend to continue producing tobacco. “We need to provide the conditions that make it possible for them to carry on with their activities in the upcoming crop year and, within this context, the associate companies have already replaced the necessary inputs to restore the 2.070 seedbeds of lost seedlings, an investment that amounts to approximately R$ 1.6 million. We are confident that, in spite of this tragedy, the production of tobacco in the affected areas should remain close to the projections estimated for the 2024/25 growing season, now still at its initial stage”, Schünke comments.


According to the chief executive officer, the industry and the tobacco farmers’ representatives are doing their best in an attempt to minimize losses, but public policies will be necessary to meet any emergent needs of the farmers, particularly with regard to access to credit lines for the maintenance and reconstruction of facilities, homes, curing barns and sheds. “Within this context, we believe that the representation of the farmers is an important ally to act as go-between when it comes to getting support from government organs at this moment of reconstruction, especially considering that the tobacco farmers grow diversified crops, as they also plant food crops like corn, bean, soybean and rice”, Schünke agues.



1,929 farmers affected

2,070 seedbeds lost

1,428 hectares lost [arable land]

285 tons of fertilizers lost

848 tons is the estimated production loss in the 2024/25 growing season


Curing barns (curing facilities)

222 partial losses

129 total losses



178 partial losses 

87 total losses


Residential damages

140 with up to 30% loss

126 with losses from 30% to 70%

86 with total loss


Municipalities hit

Agudo, Anta Gorda, Arroio do Tigre, Arvorezinha, Barra da Fortaleza, Barros Cassal, Bom Retiro do Sul, Boqueirão do Leão, Caiçara, Candelária, Canudos do Vale, Casca, Cerro Branco, Ciríaco, Coqueiro Baixo, Cruzeiro do Sul, Davi Canabarro, Dona Francisca, Doutor Ricardo, Encruzilhada, Estrela Velha, Faxinal do Soturno, Fontoura Xavier, Formoso, General Câmara, Gramado Xavier, Herveiras, Ibarama, Ibiraiaras, Ilópolis, Itaara, Itapuca, Ivorá, Jacuizinho, Jaguari, Lagoa Bonita do Sul, Lagoão, Liberato Salzano, Marques de Souza, Nova Bréscia, Nova Palma, Novo Cabrais, Novo Paraiso, Novo Tiradentes, Palmitinho, Paraíso do Sul, Passa Sete, Passo do Sobrado, Pinhal Grande, Planalto, Pouso Novo, Progresso, Putinga, Relvado, Restinga Seca, Rio Pardo, Salto do Jacuí, Santa Clara do Sul, Santa Cruz do Sul, Santa Lúcia, Santa Maria, São José do Herval, São Pedro do Sul, Segredo, Sério, Sinimbu, Sobradinho, Tunas, Tupanciretã, Vale do Sol, Vale Verde, Venâncio Aires, Vera Cruz, Vespasiano Correa and Volta Grande.


ABOUT SINDITABACO – Founded in 1947, the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco) is based in Santa Cruz do Sul (RS), region of the Rio Pardo River Valley, largest tobacco production and processing center in the world. By representing the interests of 14 associate companies, the entity gives visibility to the social and economic importance of the sector to hundreds of municipalities across the South Region of Brazil and promotes a series of actions that turn Brazilian tobacco into one of the most demanded in the world. 


TOBACCO IN BRAZIL – The numbers attest to the great importance of tobacco in the Brazilian agribusiness scenario. Since 1993, Brazil has hold the position of leading global tobacco exporter. According to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC/ComexStat), Brazil shipped abroad 512 thousand tons of tobacco in 2023, bringing in revenue of US$ 2.729 billion. In all, 107 countries purchased the product, where the highlight was the European Union with 42% of the total, followed by the Far East (31%), Africa/Middle East (11%), North America (8%) and Latin America (8%). Belgium, China, the United States and Indonesia continue in the ranking of major importers. The share of tobacco in exports amounted to 0.80% in Brazil, 4.51% in the South Region and, in Rio Grande do Sul, top tobacco producer state, it reached 11.19%. Know more at www.sinditabaco.com.br




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