Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has recently organized a 3 day (June 24-26) Krishi Mela (Agro fair) on fruit plants at Naikhonchori, Bandarban District. They invited local nursery owners along with major tobacco industries in the fair to display their fruit plants.
It is to be noted that tobacco industries do not cultivate any types of fruit plants. They only produce tobacco products, which kills people. Very interestingly, the tobacco makers did not participate only, they also won prizes for their stalls (i.e. BAT, Dhaka Tobacco, Abul Khair Tobacco).
It seems that the agro fair was organized to promote the tobacco companies where as in article 12 of the Tobacco Control law (amended 2013) clearly mention to discourage tobacco cultivation. It is very sad to see a government entity such as DAE which knows the deadly aggression of tobacco expansion in the country promoting tobacco companies by awarding them.
Please find attached some pictures taken during the fair by some of our ATMA journalists where it shows explicitly the involvement of the higher government officials such as District Commissioner (DC) of Bandarban, UNO and other local elites. Please go through the pictures and see how intimate the tobacco companies are with DAE and government officials.