Tobacco impact assessment sought

| May 26, 2016

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, the Environment and Forests has recommended that the Indian government conduct a detailed environmental impact assessment of tobacco cultivation, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

In its report, ‘Effects of Tobacco Curing on Environmental Health’, the committee sought an evaluation specifically on the impact of tobacco curing and cultivation on the country’s forests.

But the panel asked also that the government make efforts gradually to reduce the consumption of tobacco by consumers and explore alternative uses, such as in making natural pesticides.

It said that the growing of tobacco, except for exports, should be discouraged in a gradual manner by providing incentives for farmers to shift to other crops.

The Environment Ministry has been asked to put in place a mechanism to alleviate soil and environmental degradation caused by the use on tobacco of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and to reduce the impact of such degradation on crops grown in proximity to tobacco.

India is the world’s third biggest tobacco producer and some of its leaf is exported to more than 80 countries, making a significant contribution to the economy.

Taking in all aspects of tobacco, from cultivation through to product marketing, the industry in India is said to be one of the country’s biggest employers, providing work for 48 million people.

Category: Breaking News

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