New Study Says World Bank Tobacco Control Policies Could Boost Power of Multi-National Tobacco Companies and Shut Out Small Farmers
LONDON, March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was issued today by The International Tobacco Growers' Association:
An independent analysis published today (ISBN 1 872854 09 5) says there are significant flaws in the World Bank's report ``Curbing the Epi
Reza Daniels of Advisory Services for Economic Research (ASER), Cape Town, development economist and adviser to the South African government, was commissioned by the International Tobacco Growers' Association to provide an objective, expert response to the World Bank's report.
ASER argue that the World Bank's research is flawed. Their findings contradict the World Bank's conclusions, and Reza Daniels comments:
``The World Bank Report assumes that governments will have funds to support farmers who stop growing tobacco leaf. But many countries depend on the financial contribution that tobacco leaf makes to their economies, and can't afford to subsidise farmers.''
``The World Bank ignores the fact that crop subsidies contradict World Trade Organisation (WTO) policies, and the global trend away from such subsidies.''
``The Bank's proposed tobacco tax increases and advertising bans will make price the most important factor in future tobacco consumption. This will drive manufacturers to consolidate to increase efficiency and save costs. Cost pressures on manufacturers will impact on tobacco growers, forcing them to cut costs by axing labour and using more machinery. This will shut out the small farmers, and hit the economies of tobacco-producing countries, including Malawi and Zimbabwe.''
Antonio Abrunhosa, Chief Executive of the International Tobacco Growers' Association, concludes: ``There is simply insufficient information in the World Bank Report to justify the actions that it asks government to take. We suggest that the tobacco control policies proposed in the Report should not be progressed by any Government until an-inclusive consultation process has taken place -- involving all those nations that will feel the impacts of the proposals.''
The International Tobacco Growers' Association
The International Tobacco Growers' Association (ITGA) was formed in 1984 to foster co-operation and information-sharing between its tobacco-growing members and contribute to the international debate on tobacco issues.
Membership encompasses 22 countries, which between them are responsible for growing over 80% of the world's internationally traded tobacco.