This card explains why tobacco cultivation is jeopardizing food security and uses a graphic to show which countries are particularly affected.

Editor: Unfairtobacco
Published: May 2023

Tobacco Growing or Food

More than 17 million people around the world work in tobacco farming, primarily in low- and middle-income countries such as Brazil, Indonesia or Zimbabwe. Farmers in these countries struggle to make a living from tobacco growing. Their income is often so low that there is no money left to pay any workers and child labour is widespread.

In some countries, tobacco growing contributes to food insecurity. When fields are planted with tobacco, they can no longer be used to grow food.

In tobacco growing countries such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, significant proportions of the population are at risk of food insecurity. Seven of the ten countries with the largest area under cultivation are in Asia and Africa. If food was grown in these countries instead of tobacco, more than 11 million people could be fed.

printed copies currently only available in German

If food crops were grown instead of tobacco in China, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, more than 11 Millionen people could be fed.
Information sheet Tobacco Growing or Food © Card_Tobacco-Growing_Food_2023_complete by Unfairtobacco / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0