Benefits of growing tobacco in Fiji “immense”

Leaf tobacco production has increased slowly but steadily in Fiji, according to a story in The Fiji Times.

The newspaper gave no production figures but said that about 500 Western Division farmers were involved in tobacco farming.

And British American Tobacco Fiji leaf growing manager, Khondoker Abdul Matin, was quoted as saying that, overall, the number of its contract growers, about 60 percent of who were based at Sigatoka and 40 percent at Nadi, had increased.

“We have a high tech greenhouse in Nadi that grows all of the seedlings, which are then delivered to the farmers,” he said.

“Before they even start planting we give them technical advice and give them seedlings, fertilisers and equipment that they need to plant and grow the leaves…

“Each farmer is taken on a contract basis and, according to their performance, their contracts are renewed.”

The Times reported BAT Fiji farmer of the year Taina Waqa, who harvested 3,969 kg per ha, as saying that the benefits of being involved in tobacco farming were immense.

“I am very grateful for the help I have received so far and the success I have experienced in this farming; it has really helped me support my family,” she said.

Source: Tobacco Reporter. Date: May 18, 2015