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.
22nd TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards held in Ongole
The Tobacco Institute of India organized the 22nd TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards function in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh on 26th August 2022. A total of 15 tobacco farmers from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were felicitated at the event for their outstanding performance in productivity and quality of the crop.
An award ceremony to honour the progressive Tobacco farmers from Karnataka was held in Hunsur in April 2022.
The awards ceremony was attended by the Hon’ble Member of Parliament from Ongole, Shri M. Sreenivasulu Reddy; Member of Legislative Assembly from Kandukur, Andhra Pradesh, Shri M. Maheedhar Reddy; Vice Chairman, Tobacco Board, Shri H.C. Basavaraju; Tobacco Board Members, Shri Mareddy Subrahmanyeswara Reddy, H.R. Dinesh and Shri Podda Varaprasada Rao. Besides, a large gathering of around 1,000 tobacco farmers also attended the Awards ceremony.
The ceremony also witnessed the release of a Coffee Table Book commemorating 21 years of TII’s glorious journey of awarding progressive tobacco farmers.