International Tobacco Growers’ Association 34th Annual Meeting gathers tobacco growing countries from 4 continents in Dominican Republic
Santiago de los Caballeros in Dominican Republic was the venue of the 34th International Tobacco Growers’ Association (ITGA) annual meeting. The Dominican Republic is the country that will be celebrating 500 years of history of tobacco next year.
On the opening session, Dominican Republic Minister of Agriculture, Osmar Benítez, highlighted the cultural link of tobacco to this country from the time of the indigenous Tainos. The sector, he noted, employs more than one hundred thousand people along the supply chain and generates more than eight hundred million US$ per year. Moreover, the Industry pays 25 million pesos in salaries, daily, in the Dominican Republic. The tobacco exports generate 900 million dollars in returns being the US the main importer. Manuel Alejandro Ureña, INTABACO, General Director expressed the strong will of the Institute to help growers walk through these difficult times towards a sustainable future.
ITGA Delegates from 4 continents, gathered on this occasion to share and analyse the market in their countries. Shane MacGuill, director of tobacco markets research in Euromonitor, analysed the evolution of global consumption of tobacco products and the market for new generation products. Tobacco production and prices overview was given by Antonio Abrunhosa, ITGA’s CEO. On a panel shared by Shane MacGuill and Abrunhosa, they highlighted the worrying signs for tobacco growers. Hendrik Kelner, one of the persons with a deeper knowledge of the tobacco history, particularly in the Dominican Republic, shared his ideas about five hundred years of history of tobacco in the country.
The ITGA 34th Annual Meeting concluded on Nov 5th with the Association’s General Assembly, where delegates from Member countries shared their views on the challenges and opportunities arising from the current trends and draw a road map for the near future of the only worldwide tobacco growers’ association. The Assembly also elected a new Board with Mr Abiel Maseche Kalima Banda, President of the Malawi tobacco growers’ association (TAMA Farmers’ Trust) becoming the new President of ITGA.