Money from poison

Published: Thursday 15 February 1996

-- A large number of developing countries are economically dependent on tobacco export and a major proportion of their gross national product, government revenue and employment comes from tobacco production. But tobacco production has a lot of environmental consequences. Apart from the intensive use of fertilisers, pesticides and water, it affects the people's health, especially by nicotine poisoning. Also, tobacco cultivation goes hand in hand with deforestation, because for flue and fire curing of one kg of tobacco, 5.9-12.9 kg of wood is required. Consequently, the Food and Agricultural Organization and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has advised the principal tobacco-dependent countries to change the land use pattern and to diversify toward production of other crops

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