Tobacco cultivation takes up over 4 million hectares of land. Most tobacco cultivation has been moved from North America to China, South America and Africa. Thanks to increased use of pesticides and fertilizers over 7 million metric tons of tobacco was grown in 2000. There is no doubt that tobacco cultivation is damaging vital farm land and taking up land that could be used to grow important crops that can help humanity not make humanity sick. It is important to note that many areas where tobacco is grown are poor, and yet tobacco cultivation does not make the locals any better off. Such are the injustices of ‘globalization’ and the modus operandi of multi-national companies.
It is interesting to note that now China is the biggest producer of tobacco in the world. They also have the largest population. It would be much more useful for Chinese farmers to brow bamboo. It is a crop that can grow in much of China. It doesn’t need fertilizers and pesticides and does not drain the soil. Rather it helps to hold the top soil together and to improve water retention. Bamboo can be a cash crop. It is also a source of nutrition. Bamboo charcoal can be used as a fuel, a fertilizer and a water filter. Bamboo vinegar can be used as a medicine and as a green cleaning substance that does not posion water supplies.
The same is true of Sub-Sharan Africa and northern South America. Bamboo is one of the ideal crops that could be grown instead of tobacco. Bamboo benefits communities financially and practically. It is also a major source of carbon recycling for the atmosphere. Bamboo is good for communities and good for nature. In short, it is the opposite of tobacco.