Tobacco as an Agricultural Product
Over ten million acres of land urgently needed for cultivation of food crops – enough to produce an annual tobacco crop of 6.7 million tons, enough to feed 10-20 million people – are diverted to tobacco production. These acres cannot readily be restored to agricultural food production because of the heavy pesticide application and leaching of nutrients associated with tobacco production. Wood, the primary source of cooking fuel in many regions, is extensively used for tobacco curing. The resulting deforestation contributes to climate change with potentially devastating effects on agricultural food production globally.