The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this Friday a campaign to help a growing number of tobacco farmers convert crops, an effort aimed at boosting food security in poorer countries in Africa and South America.
The United Nations agency announced the campaign a few days before World No Tobacco Day (May 31).
Inspired by Kenya’s efforts, the WHO will give farmers in African and Latin American countries microcredits to help them pay off their debt to the tobacco industry and focus on other types of crops.
Tobacco cultivation not only has a negative impact on the health of smokers and farmers, but also poses food security problems.
“A record 349 million people suffer from severe food insecurity. In parallel, 3.2 million hectares of land in 124 countries are being used for tobacco cultivation,” said Ruediger, WHO Director-General for Health Promotion.・ Dr. Krehi said at the conference. Press conference in Geneva.
A United Nations agency has expressed concern that more and more tobacco companies are setting up shop in African countries as their tobacco crops have increased by 15% since 2005.
“The tobacco crop is often thought to be important for economic growth, but in reality it’s a myth,” Krechi said, noting that in five poor countries, including Malawi and Mozambique, the tobacco crop’s contribution was “1% of GDP.” ,” he recalled. , Zimbabwe, Tanzania, North Macedonia.