Discover the 10 Countries That Grow the Most Tobacco - A-Z Animals
Tobacco is a plant whose leaves are generally cured for people to smoke. Tobacco contains a stimulant that is highly addictive called nicotine, as well as harmala alkaloids. The bottom line is that tobacco is one of the most dangerous substances. The use of tobacco, whether it is in cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or chewing tobacco, is extremely harmful to your health. It leads to heart attacks, as well as various cancers — mainly lung and liver. It is one of the most preventable deaths because people can just stop smoking.
Nevertheless, people smoke or chew tobacco. Of the top 10 consuming countries, eight of them are located in Europe. The producing countries, however, are not even on the consumption list. They are the suppliers. Let’s take a look at the 10 countries that grow the most tobacco.
Tobacco production in Mozambique has increased a whopping 500% in 20 years, from 2000 to 2020. Also in 20 years, the land dedicated to growing tobacco increased to 0.14% from only 0.02% in 2000. This has been a growing trend not only in Mozambique but in the entire African continent. Although tobacco production has decreased in the last 20 years, it increased by 35% from 2005 to 2020. Unfortunately, Mozambique and other African countries use child labor in their tobacco farms. This has gotten the attention of international organizations to ensure this practice stops.
Argentina’s tobacco production is mainly situated in the northern regions of the country. The three largest-producing provinces are Jujuy, Salta, and Misiones. About 200,000 acres are dedicated to tobacco farming. The tobacco industry is huge in the country and employs hundreds of thousands of people. Unfortunately, Argentina tobacco farms have been accused of hiring children, something that several world organizations have proven time and time again.
Malawi has been an exporter of tobacco ever since the British conquered its lands. Its tobacco has increased greatly since then and it is now a major economic driver in the country. Unfortunately, Malawi uses child labor in its fields and throughout the tobacco and cigarette process. About 78,000 children were working on tobacco farms but after public outcry, the law changed and thankfully, it drove children out of the fields and into school. However, problems persist as 3,000 children continue working on tobacco farms.
Tobacco has been grown in Zimbabwe since before the British conquered Africa. When the British arrived and established rule, European colonists ravaged the area, claiming native African lands. Tobacco farming became more prevalent, and it was modeled after American farms. Today, several types of tobacco are grown in the country, which is a major economic industry for the country. Around 11% of the country’s GDP is made from tobacco and over 3 million people depend on tobacco farming in some way or another. With China’s tobacco businesses entering the country to set up camp, Zimbabwe’s main exporter has been China.
Pakistan is a major power in the world’s tobacco production. It employs many people and a dedicated 0.21% to 0.23% of land is put aside specifically for tobacco. Most of the farming takes place in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province — mainly in the Charsadda, Mardan, Swabi, and Nowshera districts. There are approximately 75,000 acres of tobacco land in Pakistan, amounting to 50,000 tobacco growers. Two companies — Phillip Morris (Pakistan) and the Pakistan Tobacco Company — control about 60% of the tobacco market in the country.
5. United States
Tobacco has been produced in the United States for centuries, after all, tobacco comes from the region of what is now the US and Mexico. Tobacco mainly grew in the South because of its perfect conditions for the crop. Slavery gave rise to production with very little cost and soon enough, revenues exploded. After the discovery of cured tobacco, American production rose even more as it exported cigarettes abroad to Europe. Today, although still a major industry in the US, the tobacco industry has suffered greatly due to human health campaigns all over the country.
It is stated that Indonesia’s tobacco consumption is sky-high, with over 60% of Indonesian adult males smoking and that trend is continuing to rise. So, it’s no wonder that Indonesia is on this list. Tobacco growing in Indonesia has been a flourishing business since the 19th century and there are nearly 500,000 acres dedicated to farming tobacco in the country. Interestingly enough, although it is quite popular, small tobacco farmers aren’t economically well off because the cigarette industries in these regions have made business practices untenable for them. Despite tighter regulations and tobacco control, there isn’t much change happening.
Three regions in Brazil grow tobacco — Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, and Santa Catarina. Nearly 750,000 acres are dedicated to growing tobacco in these southern states, which supports 150,000 farmers. The major industry, which employs more than 2 million people, lifts the economy of the country’s southern region. However, in an article published by the World Health Organization, it has been proven that tobacco is more labor-intensive than other crops. This is why farmers are switching from working tobacco fields to other more sustainable crops.
India is number two in production and there are about 1 million acres are dedicated to growing the plant. That accounts for about 10% of the total area of the world’s tobacco lands. About 36 million people work in India’s tobacco production, which can be from farming to manufacturing and everything in between. India is also the second-largest exporter of tobacco, behind Brazil. Most countries produce tobacco in one season, however, India is the only country in the world that produces tobacco in two seasons, which is why their output is much greater. Its biggest exports go to Belgium, the Philippines, and Egypt, but it exports to 115 countries around the globe.
The country of China is the world’s leading producer of tobacco. The state has a monopoly on tobacco production in the country which is headed by the China National Tobacco Corporation. They generate roughly $213 billion in revenue and over 2.4 trillion cigarettes are sold. That’s almost half of the world’s total. China is also the biggest consumer of tobacco, with more than 300 million smokers. There are around 130 factories that produce tobacco in the nation. Interestingly enough, even though there are smoking bans in certain areas, the laws are rarely enforced. This has ensured the Chinese continue to smoke without any punishments.
Summary of the 10 Countries That Grow the Most Tobacco
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