Alternative crops to tobacco: a gateway for tobacco farmers Ruvuma region, southern Tanzania
 
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Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum, Tanzania, United Rep.
Publication date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A948
 
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ABSTRACT
Background:
Tanzania is second in Africa in tobacco production after Malawi. Despite the increased production, Tanzania remains a poor country with tobacco farmers getting poorer and the country losing more than 61,000 hectares of forests annually due to tobacco growing and curing.

Methods:
Since 2006, Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum (TTCF) has been working closely with tobacco farmers of Namtumbo District in Ruvuma Region, Southern Tanzania to adopt alternative crops. A survey was carried out in Namtumbo in 2011, using a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and a structured questionnaire to determine the extent of adoption of alternative crops.

Results:
Results indicated that, more than 70% of the farmers had adopted alternative crops. Current data from Namtumbo District Council indicate that, between 2006 and 2014, there has been increased tonnage in both food and cash crops and a decrease in tobacco production. For example, maize and rice production increased by 452% and 377% respectively, while pigeon peas and sesame increased by 5,839% and 1,302% respectively. Tobacco production increased by 583% from 2006 to 2009, but dropped by 491% between 2010 and 2014.

Conclusions:
Increased farmers' sensitisation coupled with sustainable and viable markets, could enable total replacement of tobacco with alternative crops in Ruvuma Region.

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