Tobacco farmers deserve more support

EDITOR — Growing tobacco is not an easy task. The process is labour intensive and therefore, should be supported accordingly by different stakeholders involved.

The majority of the tobacco farmers are small-scale and they grow their tobacco on small pieces of land where family members provide the much-needed labour.

Their harvest is sold either under the contract system or the auction system.

Under the contract system, they are given the required inputs like tobacco seed, fertilisers and pesticides.

Because of the contracts, farmers anticipate better prices for their crop.

But because the prices they can get from their crop is decided by buying companies, which grade the golden leaf and set the price, tobacco farmers are often trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty.

In most cases, they fail to pay their loans and they are often left with nothing after having factored in labour costs and other related expenses.

Nothing will unlock the tobacco sector’s potential more than getting rid of the cancer of corruption at the tobacco sales floors where farmers part ways with their hard-earned cash in order to bribe buyers so that their quality crop fetches better prices.

Ultimately, the most powerful remedy is for stakeholders to work together for a common cause to the best of the tobacco industry. Anonymous.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.