NGO News Desk :: Lawmakers, Researchers, Economists, Activists and Journalists demanding governmental supports to the farmers in growing alternative crops against tobacco and formulation and implementation of the Policies to control tobacco farming, in a Policy Dialogue titled – ‘Aggressive Expansion of Tobacco Farming in Bangladesh: Risks and Responsibilities’ has been held at the CIRDAP auditorium on December 23, 2014. The Policy Dialogue was organized by Anti Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA).
Saber Hossain Chowdhury MP of Dhaka 9 was the Chief Guest while the Special Guests were –Begum Fazilatun Nasa Bappy MP of seat 30 from reserved women seats, Mohammad Nabi Newaj MP of Jhenidah 3, and Abul Kalam Mohammad Ahsanul Haque Chowdhury MP of Rangpur 2. Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) professorial fellow, Dr. M Asaduzzaman participated as the expert discussant at the dialogue and Bangladesh representative of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), Taifur Rahman presented the key note at the Policy Dialogue. The programme was presided over by Muzammil Hossain, Editor, The Daily Shokaler Khabar with the moderation of Nadira Kiran, ATMA Co-convener. Mass media activists and leaders from different tobacco control platforms also spoke at the occasion.
Speakers at the dialogue suggested forming a National Platform for the purpose and also urged to prepare the Draft Tobacco Cultivation Control Policy Bill to place at the coming National Parliament session schedule to start from next March 2015.
Since tobacco companies are not enlisted financial institution, and thus they cannot provide any sort of credit services, they added. So, they urged the Finance Ministry to immediately take necessary steps to stop the credit programmes conducted by the tobacco companies. Also, recommend to spend some money from fund of 250 crore generated from ‘1% Health Development Surchage’ for rehabilitation and alternative employment of tobacco farmers.
The policy dialogue has received substantial media attention, and the gathered media reports (print, online, and electronic) are compiled herein for your convenience.