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The role played by youths in tobacco farming

Zimbabwe is one of the largest tobacco producers in Africa and tobacco contributes intensely to the country’s exports and economy. Although this sector of the industry seems to be doing well, many of the small scale contract farmers are struggling to keep afloat as they face debt with local contract companies that supply farmers with inputs when the season begins. There is a portion of young people in Zimbabwe who have also begun to venture into tobacco farming besides just being labourers.

 

Zimbabwe remains with a generation gap in terms of land acquisition between the youths and the elderly. Such realities and statistics have led to most farming contracts or work being done by those above 35 years of age. Also, tobacco has been viewed as one of the traditional farmers’ crops and most young people have opted for more easy crops especially in the horticulture sector. However, the youths in agriculture have been contributing their labour and skills as some grow up with their families specializing in these farms. There is a considerable percentage of youths who have built businesses and immensely invested in the tobacco sector but however face some challenges.

 

Usually, a bigger input makes one hopeful for better outputs and profits. This year, about 200 million kilograms of tobacco was sold. However, talking to The Africa Report, a 27 year old man named Jairos Mufudzi highlighted that,

Six months of our hard labour in the tobacco fields, our fate is being negotiated by someone else in the auction floors as we are not allowed to get inside because [of] the prevailing Covid-19 regulations”.

It is a game of chess. Despite the quantity of produce, the young tobacco farmers are crippled by getting paid at bank rate whilst their goods are sold at black market rate. This is why it becomes hard to make profit because they are hit hard by inflation and therefore subduing to input debts from the onset.

 

Despite these different challenges, young farmers undermine the contribution of good packaging and storage to their profit making. It is advised that when tobacco is dried well and packaged in good material, it maintains its quality and therefore can be stored longer before and after the selling period at the auction floors. There is a loss marked when the crop is not packaged well leading to low buying prices. To help young farmers improve their profits and the texture of their tobacco crop, PROPAK Hessian provides very good hessian sacks that are strong and tailor made to preserve the tobacco in good condition.

 

A wise farmer goes for quality to put a mark up to a valuable crop. Next season will be different and better as most farmers choose PROPAK for their packaging needs and the good texture of PROPAK sacks that guarantee reliability. Contact us today for the best hessian sacks.

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