Mon, 25 Sep 2023

New Delhi [India], May 30 (ANI): The World No Tobacco Day is here again and the theme for this year is 'We need food, not tobacco'.

World No Tobacco Day is celebrated on May 31 every year to raise awareness about the harms of tobacco use.

This year's theme aims to raise awareness about alternative crop production and marketing opportunities for tobacco farmers and encourage them to grow sustainable and nutritious crops.

Tobacco cultivation contributes to increased food insecurity worldwide, said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.

Around 3.5 million hectares of land are converted for tobacco growing each year globally.

In Southeast Asia Region, India leads in acres of land under cultivation and tobacco production, followed by Indonesia. Tobacco is also grown in Bangladesh, DPR Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

In Southeast Asia Region, India leads in acres of land under cultivation and tobacco production, followed by Indonesia. Tobacco is also grown in Bangladesh, DPR Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

"I am happy to share that we have success stories from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, where tobacco-growing farmers have successfully shifted over to economically viable alternative crops," Singh said"Sri Lanka is leading the way by successfully implementing pilots to promote alternative crops replacing tobacco growing with encouraging results," Singh added.

Nine of the 10 largest tobacco cultivators are low- and middle-income countries and four of these are defined as low-income food-deficit countries. Land used to grow tobacco could be more efficiently used to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 - zero hunger. (ANI)

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