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The Economic Influence Of Tobacco Harm Reduction On Food Production

We recently established that safer alternatives to cigarettes will in turn cause a reduction in demand for tobacco. In many tobacco growing countries , tobacco growing affects food production . Just as increased tobacco growing conflicts with objectives of self sufficiency in food production in many African countries,a reduction will see the opposite begin to happen.

There has been considerable debate about the social, environmental and economic impact of tobacco growing, especially in developing countries. Tobacco growing has worse impacts than other crops. In particular, there are concerns regarding deforestation, the exacerbation of poverty and social inequality through bonded labor and child labor, and occupational health risks . An alarming percentage of our region’s population are food insecure. The volatility of climate change presents arguably the greatest threat to food security and, by extension, human security in sub-Saharan Africa.

Thanks to harm reduction, tobacco farmers need to prepare for an era of reduced demand . This is good news for both the health and agricultural welfare of the population. The global decline of smoking could have many positive health impacts but could bring negative economic consequences to tobacco farmers, many of whom are in developing nations.

The widespread environmental degradation caused by tobacco production begins with the preparation of land for growing tobacco and carries through the life of these products through planting, harvesting of mature leaf, curing and sorting of tobacco leaf. As demand for tobacco leaves decreases over time, it’s leading to a correspondingly dramatic decrease in the amount of land dedicated to tobacco production.Farmers shifting to more viable alternatives to tobacco will ensure more food is cultivated and made available .

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