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.
20th TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards held in Mysuru
The Tobacco Institute of India organized the 20th TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards function in Mysuru on 9th January 2020. A total of 17 tobacco farmers were felicitated at the event for their outstanding performance in productivity and quality of the crop.
Veteran tobacco farmer Shri B. N. Jayaram from Karnataka Light Soil Region was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award while seven enterprising tobacco farmers were given best farmer awards. Nine other farmers received recognition awards this year.
Shri Prathap Simha, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Mysore and Kodagu inaugurated the event in the presence of Shri Sa. Ra. Mahesh, Hon’ble Member of Legislative Assembly, K. R. Nagar, Karnataka; Shri H. P. Manjunath, Hon’ble Member of Legislative Assembly, Hunsur, Karnataka and Shri K. Mahadeva, Hon’ble Member of Legislative Assembly, Periyapatna, Karnataka.
Shri Y. Raghunadha Babu, Chairman, Tobacco Board; Shri T. V. Ravi, Director – Auctions, Tobacco Board and Dr. S. Ramakrishnan, Head of CTRI Research Station, Hunsur, Karnataka were also present on the occasion as Guests of Honour.
Besides a large number of industry representatives, Members of Tobacco Board, officials of Tobacco Board and Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI), around 700 tobacco farmers from different parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana also attended the Awards function.