The umbrella body of tobacco farmers from various regions Uganda Tobacco Growers Association (UTGA) have disassociated themselves from the another group of farmers and their views on the Tobacco Control Bill 2014 following their own petition which was submitted to the Speaker of Parliament on June 10, 2014.
“UTGA would like to disassociate ourselves from the alleged group of farmers and their views on the Tobacco Control Bill 2014. We submitted ours to the Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga on June 10, 2014 through Dr. Sam Okounzi the Member of Parliament for Vuura County and Hon. Julius Junjura Bigirwa, the Member of Parliament for Buhaguzi County – Hoima district,” Mr Morris Candia, the association’s spokesperson said in a communication seen by Red Pepper Online edition.
The farmers in UTGA are drawn from Bunyoro-Mubende, North Kigezi, and West Nile tobacco farmers associations that comprise more than 60,000 tobacco growers.
Through their association, the farmers, in a petition appealed to legislators not to pass the Bill in its current form, saying some of the clauses would have an impact on tobacco growing which is their only source of income.
The piece of legislation seeks to, among others, protect the current and future generation from the devastating health consequences of tobacco use. However, the industry players and the farmers insist that such restrictions would still amount to a total ban on smoking, hence automatically pushing them out of business. The Bill seeks to ban all forms of tobacco advertising and have graphic images included on cigarette packs as it is in most Western countries.