Health CS Susan Wafula has said that the government is on the move to encourage tobacco farmers to adopt alternative crops.
The CS said the growth of tobacco has been a threat to the health of individuals in the growing areas.
Speaking at the event to mark this year’s World Tobacco Day at Sibuaoche market in Uriri, Wafula urged tobacco farmers to embraced other crops like beans, sweet potato, sorghum, maize, sunflower and sugarcane.
The CS noted that the prevalence rate of tobacco use among adults in Kenya is at 11.6 percent while that of the youth at 9.9 percent.
Currently it is worrying that more farmers are still stuck to the production of tobacco despite the many diseases like cancer that the crop expose them toCS Wafula
This, she says has triggered the number of tobacco-related deaths in the country to over 6,000 deaths annually against the global rate of 8 million people within the same period.
“Currently it is worrying that more farmers are still stuck to the production of tobacco despite the many diseases like cancer that the crop expose them to,” she said
The Ministry of Health in conjunction with tobacco control bodies and World Health Organisation (WHO) is on a move persuade over 20,000 tobacco farmers in Migori and another 36,000 across the country to switch to other crops.
Migori Governor Dr. Ochilo Ayacko who also graced the event said his government will ensure the production of Tobacco reduced calling for support from the national government and partners to assist in the promotion of alternative cash crops that have ready market locally and globally.
The event themed ‘Grow Food, Not Tobacco’ was also attended by WHO officials among them Dr. Adriana Blanco who assured of their support to fight tobacco in the country.