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Dhaka Tribune

Call to discourage farmers in tobacco cultivation

Update : 05 Mar 2014, 06:58 PM

Speakers at a human chain have asked for discouraging the farmers in farming tobacco as its increasing cultivation poses severe threats to the public health, food security as well as environment.

Association for Community Development (ACD), Development Council and Lalmonirhat Tobacco Control Coalition jointly organised the human chain at Mission Mour in Lalmonirhat district town yesterday.

With Programme Officer of ACD HosneAraParveenFarzana in the chair, leader of Anti-tobacco Women Alliance Rabeya Begum, General Secretary of Lalmonirhat Press Club Ahmedur Rahman Mukul, Programme Officer of Development Council Mostafizur Rahman, addressed the programme.

They emphasised on strict implementation of the amended Tobacco Control Act and forwarded suggestions to improve the situation for saving millions of people from catastrophic consequences of smoking and using non-smoking tobacco products.

They said tobacco products have become the biggest human killer taking 156 lives every day in Bangladesh where 4.13 crore people are smoking directly and another 4.20 crore are becoming affected from indirect smoking.

Citing statistics of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), the speakers said tobacco has been cultivated on 11,385 hectares of land this year in Lalmonirhat alone posing severe threat to cereal crop production in the district.

Tobacco cultivation has been spreading throughout the country and huge tobacco products are still being imported at a cost of millions of hard-earned foreign exchange every year despite its increasing local production, they said.

The speakers said tobacco cultivation reduces land fertility, decreases cereal food production leading towards food shortages, increasing liabilities of the farmers and adversely affecting ecology and bio-diversity.

The government and the people have been spending thousands of crores taka for tobacco-related health hazards and diseases annually than the scanty amount of revenue being earned by the government, they said.

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