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.
21st TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards held in Hunsur
The Tobacco Institute of India organized the 21st TII Tobacco Farmers’ Awards function in Hunsur, Karnataka on 28th April 2022. A total of 10 tobacco farmers from Karnataka were felicitated at the event for their outstanding performance in productivity and quality of the crop.
The Institute plans to hold a separate awards ceremony for the farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the coming months.
The awards ceremony was attended by Shri Prathap Simha, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Mysuru and Kodagu; Shri H. P. Manjunath, Hon’ble Member of the Legislative Assembly, Hunsur; Shri K. Mahadeva, Hon’ble Member of the Legislative Assembly, Periyapatna; Shri Y. Raghunadha Babu, Chairman, Tobacco Board; Shri M. Subrahmanyeswara Reddy, Member, Tobacco Board; Dr. S. Ramakrishan, Head, CTRI, Hunsur and Shri Javare Gowda, Karnataka Farmer Leader.
Besides Industry representatives, officials of Tobacco Board and CTRI, around 700 tobacco farmers from the tobacco growing regions in Karnataka attended the Awards function.
The ceremony was held after a gap of more than two years due to the unprecedented Covid situation. The previous Awards ceremony was held in Mysuru in January 2020.