Razzaque for modernization of agriculture to discourage tobacco cultivation

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DHAKA, May 12, 2019 (BSS) – Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque today called for modernizing the agriculture sector to discourage tobacco cultivation in the country.

“Ensuring fair price of agricultural goods is must to discourage tobacco farming. Use of modern equipments and technologies in agriculture sector is essential to this end,” he told a seminar and award giving ceremony on tobacco control in Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) auditorium in the city’s Agargaon area, said a press release.

National Professor Brigadier General (Retd) Abdul Malik addressed the function, organized by National Anti-Tobacco Platform, as the special guest with PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad in the chair.

Razzaque said the government earns around Taka 20,000 crore revenues per year from the tobacco companies. But the treatment expenditure for diseases caused by tobacco consumption is higher than the revenue income, he added.

It will be easier to avoid revenue earning from tobacco companies, if the city dwellers pay their taxes properly and it will help stop the tobacco cultivation, the minister said.

In the seminar, it was revealed that Bangladesh is 12th among the 20 tobacco producing countries in the world. The tobacco cultivation was increased to 213 percent in 2017 from 145 percent in 2006.

It was also revealed that cultivating vegetables is more profitable than tobacco. It will be possible to attain agriculture and economic growth and prevent climate change, if cultivation and use of tobacco can be stopped.

In the function, Tobacco Control Award-2019 was given four, including individual and institutions, for contributing in creating anti-tobacco awareness.

Noted physician of the country Professor Dr Pran Gupal Datta was among the award recipients.