How is tobacco produced?
Tobacco is most associated as being cultivated on a yearly basis, it starts out with germination in either cold frames or hot beds and then it is transplanted into the fields until it does mature. Tobacco is best grown in warm climates in very rich and well-drained soil. Over 4 million hectares of tobacco were under cultivated in 2000 and that resulted in 7 million tones of tobacco. There are different stages is cultivating tobacco and one of them is Sowing. The tobacco seeds are scattered on the surface of the soil and then as germination begins buy the activation of light. Tobacco was first grown in Virginia in the 1600's; the seedbeds were fertilized with either wood ash or even animal manure. The seedbeds were then covered with branches to protect the younger plants from the frost damage and the plants were left to grow around April.
Today, tobacco is fertilized with a mineral apatite, which is used to partially starve the plant for nitrogen, which changes the taste of the tobacco. This explains why tobacco tastes different for every cigarette manufacturer. Once the plants grow to a certain height, they are then transplanted into fields. Back in the day, you can tell when they are ready by using a peg in the soil. Once the plants are ready they can be picked and this is called Harvesting. Harvesting can be done in different ways. One of the oldest ways in harvesting is when the whole plant is cut off of the stalk at the ground with a sickle.
In the 19th century, the brighter tobacco would be harvested by pulling each individual leaf off of the plant as they become ripe. The topping is taken off of the flowers and a process called suckering is when the pruning of all of the unproductive leaves are formed. Every place has a different way of harvesting.
Not every tobacco plant is destined to grow and there are other problems that come with growing tobacco. Many countries use children to harvest the plants, so many places have issues with Child Labor, the International Labor Office has reported that many of the child laborers work in agriculture which happens to be the most hazardous and dangerous place to be in. many children have been used in Argentina, Brazil, china, India, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Many of these children work on family farms, there are cases where it is called abuse. That is why there are agencies such as the International Labor Office.
In some places the economy places a role in a bad tobacco growth. Not every farm has the means necessary to grow successful crops every year. The environment plays a huge role as well. There are many pesticides that are actually used to help the tobacco plants grow. Sometimes the wood that is used for curing of the tobacco does lead to deforestation. Though tobacco is a multi billion dollar a year industry it does come with its own problems.