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.
23rd TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards held in Periyapatna
The Tobacco Institute of India organized the 23rd TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards function in Periyapatna, Karnataka on 22nd August 2023. The ceremony witnessed the felicitation of 10 tobacco farmers from Karnataka in four categories viz. ‘Lifetime’, ‘Best Farmer’, ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Recognition’. Two of these ten awardees this year were women, highlighting the important role of women in tobacco cultivation.
Recognizing the growing emphasis on sustainable agricultural practices in tobacco cultivation for higher efficiency, superior crop quality and protection of the environment, the Institute introduced a new award category on Sustainable farming this year. In order to showcase the benefits of sustainable farming practices, such as green manuring, subsoiling, energy conservation measures, barn insulation etc., we presented three Sustainability Awards at the 23rd Awards ceremony.
The 23rd Awards ceremony was attended by Hon’ble Minister for Animal Husbandry & Sericulture, Shri K. Venkatesh; Member of Legislative Council, Shri A. H. Vishwanath; Members of the Legislative Assembly, Shri A. Manju, Shri Anil Kumar Chikkamadu & Shri Ravishankar D.; Regional Manager, Tobacco Board, Dr. Brijbhooshan Jangid; Tobacco Board Members, Shri Vikram Raj Gowda & Shri H. R. Dinesh; and Principal Scientist & Head, ICAR-CTRI Research Station at Hunsur, Dr. S. Ramakrishnan. Besides, more than 850 tobacco farmers, Government officials, Industry representatives and Media representatives attended the Awards function in large numbers.