Tobacco Farmers Refuse FCTC Ratification

Rabu, 08 Januari 2014 | 11:00

Indonesia Tobacco Farmers Association (APTI) of West Java is urging the government not to sign the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) for it will halt tobacco farmers’ activity in the province.

APTI Secretary for West Java Afandi Firman said although the government has not signed FCTC ratification, the issue will still be a distinctive concern to the farmers.

“We are certainly worried for the government could sign FCTC ratification in a sudden. If it happens, then the farmers will lose their income sources,” he said to Bisnis, Monday (1/6).

The association will still refuse the signing of FCTC ratification since the composition is made to halt tobacco farmers’ incomes sources through various limitations.

The limitations include production limitation by setting the seasons to plant tobacco, area reduction allowed for tobacco planting, and others.

“Farmers in several countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Philippines would also refuse the ratification for it will certainly halt farmers’ income source,” he said.

He admitted the government still has not signed FCTC ratification up to 2020, yet it is something that could not be put aside.

“The tobacco production in West Java has lost by 40% due to weather anomaly. It may worsen with the implementation of FCTC ratification,” he said.

Up to this moment, there has not been found tobacco plant substitute which could provide advantages to tobacco farmers’ welfare.

“We have not found a substitute plant which could provide similar advantage with tobacco, especially in places with barren condition,” he said.

Based on the record, the prices of wet tobacco is currently in the range of IDR2,000-IDR3,000 per kilograms, mole grade tobacco 3 is at IDR12,000 per kilograms, mole grade 2 tobacco of IDR20,000 per kilograms, and grade 3 (super) tobacco for IDR25,000-IDR35,000 per kilograms.

Meanwhile, the tobacco production in West Java fell by 40% from 8,500 tons to 5,100 tons per year.  (k29)

oleh JIBI, Renat Sofie Andriani