TOBACCO farmers in the Western Division said while they understood the Health Ministry's proposed ban on tobacco farming, the issue would need careful consideration because many relied on the crop for their livelihood.
Nadi tobacco farmer Eminoni Naquto said while the proposed ban was designed to address the health implications of tobacco consumption in the country, livelihoods and income had to be addressed at the same time.
Mr Naquto said he was one of many farmers in Sabeto who reaped the rewards of tobacco farming.
"Many of us did not get a proper education and the only thing that we could turn to for a source of income was farming," said Mr Naquto.
He said tobacco farming was a lifeline for his family after his sugarcane farm failed to provide a sustainable income.
"I grow tobacco plants on a one-acre land. Every year I start planting in March and by October, I harvest them. It takes only five months to harvest the plants."