Tobacco a threat to food security

Peasant farmers are increasingly switching from the main staple maize to tobacco farming because of better returns but this has also turned into a major threat for food security, reports said today. Maize production has been on the decline over the past five years with farmers producing only 798 600 tonnes last season against a national requirement of 2.2 million tonnes. According to the World Food Programme some 1.7million Zimbabweans need food relief. Tobacco production has, on the other hand, seen a drastic increase from 58.6 tonnes in 2009 to 166.6 tonnes last season. This season some 91 278 farmers are growing tobacco an increase of 20 063 new farmers compared to last season.



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