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Embracing Collective Efforts to bring solidarity in times of disruption

When this pandemic emerged and expanded we immediately thought about the dangerous disruption that it could carry into the lives of vulnerable smallholder famers.

A prevention plan is key to avoid it, especially when the selling season is beginning in most African tobacco growing countries. ITGA has focused on these small non-contracted farmers for sometime.

We estimate there may be more than 300,000 farmers in this situation in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe alone. We have put all our efforts in reaching out to them and their communities to provide information and, eventually, basic safety equipment.

ITGA members must be interacting with state or non-state organizations, UN Agencies inclusive; as we together look at supporting livelihoods of the tobacco-dependent masses. Let institutions support each other as we endeavor to sustain or improve the livelihoods of tobacco farmers.

Abiel M. Kalima Banda
ITGA President

In Salta is difficult to stop producing tobacco because is the only structured crop able to provide jobs and high frequency labour. It also provides social and mutual services. This level of support is not easily replaced by other productions. Giving up on this schemes requires reinventing markets and economies and that is something impossible to achieve at this stage.

José J. Aranda
ITGA Vice President

The latest world developments have shown us our limitations and fragilities against sudden events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This should be a call to work in a more integrated, coordinated, and holistic system. Tobacco Growers' are willing to contribute to this improvement and remain committed to the sustainability of their regions.

António Abrunhosa
ITGA Chief Executive

Small Scale Farming in Africa

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

Fever

Tiredness

Dry cough

Other less common symptoms aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, mouth or breathing in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. Therefore, it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
TOBACCO FARMS AND ON-FARM DELIVERIES

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GENERAL
RECOMMENDATIONS

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Our members at the core of coordination in each country we have outlined different initiatives. Check our ideas:

Information is key to understand the potential impact of the incoming crisis: check sector info-hub
May, 2020
Cooperativa de Productores Tabacaleros de Salta & ITGA Vice-President by José J. Aranda, Argentina

Yes, other agricultural productions are experiencing greater difficulties than tobacco. Since these productions are struggling with the drop in prices and demand, and even more if the focus is on the domestic market, export-focused productions have a better perspective.

May, 2020
Cooperativa de Productores Tabacaleros de Salta & ITGA Vice-President by José J. Aranda, Argentina

To the tobacco grower, two prices are important: the price paid upon delivery which ends in June, and the price/value of the FET which is a supplement paid to farmers to help face the costs of a new campaign.

May, 2020
Cooperativa de Productores Tabacaleros de Salta & ITGA Vice-President by José J. Aranda, Argentina

As Misiones is the last region to begin the delivery of tobacco it was the most affected by the COVID-19. The delay and the slow progress of the marketing season have affected the quality of the tobacco leaf.

April, 2020
TAMAs Farmer Trust by Nixon Lita, Malawi

We have 50,816 registered entities for 2020 production and we estimate that this represents about 508,160 individuals. Out of this 137,203 individuals are estimated to be on auction sale category. The 2020 selling markets have opened, with a lot of restrictive measures, one of which is to reduce the number of people on the market, as such we have restricted growers not to visit the market, but rather use IT products on phones to get market information.

April, 2020
Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation by Eddie Wambewo, Uganda

Most workers rarely wash hands it should upon employers to emphasis it in order to avoid infections.

April, 2020
by Christine Apolot, Uganda

The farmer's payments should be made directly to the banks so that farmers use mobile Apps for bank transactions and pay through mobile transactions and avoid going to the banks to make deposits.

April, 2020
by Milika, Malawi

Drums and Water systems to follow basic hygiene guidelines e.g. a drum of water in a malaria zone could be a breeding ground for another problem.

April, 2020
NAT2010 by Tsvetan Filev, Bulgaria

The restrictions to the free movement of people is affecting the labour supply and may cause labour shortages in the tobacco growing sector. There have been delays in the delivery of inputs that are required to grow tobacco (fertilizers and pesticides) this situation can have a significant impact in the domestic tobacco output. The payments for the tobacco purchased in Bulgaria during 2019 have not yet been completed which burdens tobacco growers.

April, 2020
Burley Stabilization Corporation by Daniel Green, United States of America

Contracts were reduced prior to this event as purchasers continue their normal shift away from the USA and to cheaper sources of tobacco and no changes have been made. The USA was lucky that the timing did not create a significant disruption as flue-cured transplanting had just begun and most of the crop is still in the greenhouse with ground preparations being made. Tobacco companies should react quickly to make commitments to growers that will help prevent a significant loss of farms as growers struggle with many challenges to sell their crops.n

April, 2020
AzerTutun Mustafa Mammadov, Azerbaijan

The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted the free movement of goods which has created difficulties when sending samples to prospective buyers which is a crucial part of the tobacco marketing process. If the need for quarantine measures continues for a long-time the tobacco output will be affected.

April, 2020
by Timoni Nowamukama, Uganda

If the visitors log can be made on line or like an app on phone that eliminates contact between the drivers and farm staff, it would be the best.

April, 2020
TAMAs Farmers Trust by Felix Thole, Malawi

The markets will open but with very strict protocols to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Tobacco Growers will be represented by a representative of the Association.

April, 2020
Seke Sa., Greece

The most important farmers have expressed significant worries due to possible shortage of workers as consequence of closing the borders.

April, 2020
Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation by Eddie Wambewo, Uganda

Before drop farmers need to know when, time, location that they can get materials, central locations are appropriate.

April, 2020
by Christine Apolot, Uganda

It depends on the integrity of customer handling now. You better think of introducing bags used once other than reusable bags to avoid COVID19 transfer from one person to another because you will encourage all customers getting affected.

April, 2020
Tobacco Institute of India, India

The sudden suspension of auctions in the State of Karnataka came just a few days before the scheduled March 2020 has left tobacco growers with 4,000 to 5,000 tons of unsold tobacco. At the time of auction suspension, a total of around 140,000 tons of FCV tobacco remained to be auctioned in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Even before the closure of various auction platforms the trade remained uninspiring due to lesser participation of overseas players. Chinese firms were absent this year hitting the prospects of farmers realizing good prices for their produce.n

April, 2020
by Timoni Nowamukama, Uganda

The longer the distance between the trucks and drivers with the farmer the best.

April, 2020
AFUBRA, Brasil

Due to COVID-19 tobacco companies have supplied lesser amounts of inputs to prepare for a possible shortage of materials in the future. Tobacco companies are supplying inputs only for the formation of seedling beds to be able to serve a greater number of growers due to logistical restrictions. In the tobacco sector, we have seen a decrease in the hiring of labor, both in companies and the grower himself is using less labor.

April, 2020
Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation by Eddie Wambewo, Uganda

In Africa it may not be a driver but some one on bicycle, motorcycle or foot, these need to keep social distances as well.

April, 2020
Camara del Tabaco de Jujuy by Oscar Aparicio, Argentina

The economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 together with the effects of the inflation are severely affecting tobacco growers. The rising costs of inputs has eroded the profitability of tobacco growing in Argentina. We have petitioned the Government to reopen the tobacco factories as the lack of cigarettes will affect the distribution of Funds by the Special Tobacco Fund (FET).

Latest News
March 30, 2020
Coronavirus: Zimbabwe tobacco auctions hang by a thread
Government last week invoked extraordinary regulations that do not allow gatherings of more than 100 people, as it takes pre-emptive measures to prevent the outbreak the novel coronavirus. The coronavirus spreads through person-to-person contact.
April 16, 2020
Tobacco stakeholders set COVID-19 guidelines
AS COVID-19 continues to rear its ugly head globally and locally, stakeholders in the tobacco industry have proposed an operational framework to use during the tobacco marketing season tentatively set for next Wednesday. The proposed safety measures include minimising the number of growers to 20 on the buying arena, provision of toll free phone numbers for booking at all selling points and restricting sales to one person per grower number, NewsDay Business has established.
April 16, 2020
Misiones: Tobacco Delivery started with the prevention protocol
Measures to prevent COVID-19 were launched at the CTM in Alem. With shifts and controls, producers were able to deliver the product. This first stage will be until Wednesday. The collection of tobacco for the 2019/2020 campaign began at the CTM of Leandro N. Alem. At 7 o'clock in the morning, the two tapes that received tobacco from some 25 producers in the southern zone were enabled.

Our ultimate Goal: Self-sufficient communities in times of world shortage.

Check second stage of our campaign soon.

TOGETHER WE GROW TOGETHER WE GROW TOGETHER WE GROW TOGETHER WE GROW