Health, agriculture ministries tie up for tobacco control

October 19th, 2010 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) The health ministry has tied up with the agriculture ministry to draw a “comprehensive” plan to move tobacco farmers and workers out of the industry and provide them alternative livelihood.

“We have consulted the agriculture ministry for relocating the farmers in tobacco cultivation to other crops,” Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

“We must work towards moving the farmers and farm workers out of the tobacco industry. We must provide alternative livelihoods, as we must encourage farmers cultivating tobacco to change to other cash crops,” he said.

Azad said the human resource development, labour and information and broadcasting ministries are also being consulted for possible tie-ups.

Elaborating on the plan, Health Secretary Sujatha Rao said funds have been given to the agriculture ministry.

“We have given funds to the agriculture ministry to draw a comprehensive plan for relocation of tobacco farmers,” the health secretary said.

“There are numerous issues, the tobacco farming is mainly on black cotton soil, not many crop options are available, so detailed work is needed,” she added.

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