If passed in its current form, the Tobacco Control Bill 2014 would hurt farmers, tobacco farmers from Kanungu district wrote in their petition to parliament.
They say the proposed tax increments and a ban on tobacco growing, advertising, promotion and sponsorship would greatly affect their earnings. Ishmeil Tiboruhanga, the chairman of the Kinkizi Tobacco Growers Association, handed the petition to the chairman of the Health committee, Kenneth Omona during a recent committee hearing.
The farmers said parliament needs to review the bill to ensure that all concerned parties are treated fairly. Tiboruhanga said for tobacco farmers to shift to another crop, the returns on revenue must be better than tobacco.
The bill’s promoter, Dr Chris Baryomunsi (Kinkiizi East, NRM), said the legislation was not meant to squeeze farmers.