WHO "attacks Mozambique" for growing tobacco while population starves

OMS “ataca Moçambique” por cultivar tabaco enquanto população morre à fome

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that Mozambique is one of the countries in the world that uses the most extensive hectares of land for tobacco cultivation while its population goes hungry.

Mozambique, with a cultivated area of 91,469 hectares is third in the African region, after Zimbabwe (112,770 hectares) and Malawi (100,962).

Mozambique, along with Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Indonesia, Turkey and the United States are in the ?Top 10? of the largest tobacco producers. Brazil, China and India contribute to about 55% of the total production of the plant, according to a WHO report, cited by News.

Worldwide, in 120 countries, more than three million hectares of land are used for tobacco cultivation, a growing trend, ?including in countries where people are starving to death? And Africa, for example, the increase was almost 20% between 2005 and 2020. The WHO indicates that more than 300 million people face acute food insecurity.

?tobacco is not only a threat to food insecurity, but to health in general, including the health of tobacco farmers? said WHO Director for Health Promotion Ruediger Krech.

Krech revealed that farmers may be exposed to chronic lung diseases or even suffer from nicotine poisoning.

?farmers are exposed to pesticides, tobacco smoke (in the process of curing the leaves), and as much nicotine as is detected in fifty cigarettes,? he found.

Another problem is the use of child labor in tobacco plantations. According to the WHO, more than one million children work in tobacco fields and ?are missing out on the opportunity to study?

Tobacco is responsible for the deaths of eight million people worldwide. Yet governments spend millions on supporting tobacco farming? denounced WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom.

The WHO suggests that governments stop subsidizing tobacco farming and support more sustainable agriculture that ?could feed millions of people?

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