The Tobacco Institute of India (TII) instituted the TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards in the year 1999 to recognize and encourage the Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco farming community into adopting modern and scientific farming practices. These annual awards seek to facilitate improvement in yields, productivity, quality and global competitiveness of the domestic cigarette tobaccos through adoption of contemporary farming practices.The response and success of these awards over the years encouraged us to subsequently extend them, in 2009, to include the air-cured varieties of tobacco also.
These awards cover all the tobacco growing regions in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. These tobacco growing regions are Southern Black Cotton Soil (SBCS), Southern Light Soil (SLS), Northern Light Soil (NLS), Karnataka Light Soil (KLS) for FCV tobacco and Vinukonda region for Burley tobacco.
The awards are presented under three categories:
- Lifetime Achievement Award
- Best Farmers Awards
- Recognition Awards
Selection process and criteria
The selection and finalisation process begins at the end of the marketing season when farmers are shortlisted on the basis of adoption of contemporary and progressive farm practices during the season. The criteria being considered in the selection process include the following:
- Good agricultural practices, e.g., soil and water conservation, integrated pest and crop management, on farm storage etc.
- Curing and barn management, including fuel efficiency.
- Yield per hectare, grade outturn, elimination of non-tobacco related materials (NTRMs) etc.
- Overall social contribution.
The criteria for the Lifetime Achievement Award are slightly broader than the other two categories. This award, in addition to recognizing scientific and innovative farming practices over a longer span of time, also recognizes the leadership provided to the community on good agricultural practices and industry issues.
This annual awards ceremony also provides a platform for all stakeholders in tobacco sector to meet and interact on issues of common interest, particularly regarding farming practices and policy formation.
17th TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards held in Vijayawada
The Tobacco Institute of India organized the 17th TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards function in Vijayawada on 20th January 2017. A total of 17 tobacco farmers were felicitated at the event for their outstanding performance in improving yield and quality of the crop.
Veteran tobacco farmer Shri Gadde Seshagiri Rao from Andhra Pradesh was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award while seven enterprising tobacco farmers were given best farmer awards. Nine other farmers received recognition awards this year.
Agriculture Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri P. Pulla Rao was the Chief Guest of the event while Member of Parliament Shri M. Venkateswara Rao (Eluru, AP) and Shri Gokalraju Gangaraju (Narasapuram, AP), along with five Members of Legislative Assembly from the tobacco growing regions of Andhra Pradesh attended the felicitation ceremony as Guests of Honour.
Secretary of the Tobacco Board Shri. C. S. S. Patnaik and Director of Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI) Dr. D. Damodar Reddy were also present on the occasion. Besides a large number of industry representatives, Members of Tobacco Board, officials of Tobacco Board and CTRI, around 800 tobacco farmers from different parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka also attended the Awards function.