In his presentation, Monday, January 30, of the Support Program to Diversify the Production of Tobacco Plantations, in the city of Santa Cruz, in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul, in the South of Brazil, the Brazilian minister of Agrarian Development, Miguel Rossetto, asked for a hand.
The Minister stressed that municipal governments, universities, and other federal and state institutions must help stimulate and solidify agricultural diversification in the most important tobacco-producing region in the state and the country.
"It is important to make it very clear that there is no restriction on tobacco cultivation in Brazil," the Minister guaranteed, referring to the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, ratified by Brazil last year.
He pointed out that what exists around the world and in Brazil is a falloff in tobacco consumption. "The government should keep in step with important campaigns, such as the one to cut back tobacco consumption among adolescents.
"It is obvious that smoking does not represent a climate beneficial to the national interest. We face serious public health problems. And we have to deal with this."
At the same time, Rossetto affirms that the country continues to export a large portion of its production.
"But the government and the farmers must be attuned to what is likely to occur in the medium and long run, which is a reduction in tobacco consumption."
According to Rossetto, the discussion of prices, quality, and the classification of tobacco, which also came up at the meeting, "is part of a permanent process, since the process of reduction will be slow, and the farmers will continue producing in accordance with national norms."
The presentation of the program took place in the Tobacco and Food Industry Workers’ Union (STIFA) and gathered around 300 tobacco planters and leaders of the sector to discuss the progressive implantation of an alternative for tobacco farmers in Brazil.
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