Managing the Tobacco Crop31 Aug 2019 · 4 min read
Tobacco farmers are at the heart of PMI’s business. They produce the primary input needed to make our high-quality products. We want all farmers growing tobacco for us to have access to the expertise, training, and technology that can help to fundamentally
improve their lives as farmers – not only as tobacco farmers – but instead, no matter what the crop to be able to earn a sustainable living as farmers.
As for any agricultural crop, tobacco crops are exposed to the uncertainties of weather, pests, and diseases. Smallholder farmers may also face additional constraints. These include limited access to critical technical support and information, including soil conservation practices (to maintain or improve soil fertility) or integrated pest management (through the application of insecticides). Both can significantly impact their crop yields and quality, and consequently their revenues.
One way to ensure their long-term success is through the Integrated Production System (IPS), where farmers benefit from a direct contract, crop inputs such as certified tobacco seeds, fertilizers, and crop protection agents, and technical support to help them implement GAP and achieve sustainable tobacco production. IPS-contracted farmers have a secure buyer for their crop, and this helps to protect them from unexpected major market fluctuations.
Four years ago, I became a direct-contract farmer by joining the Integrated Production System (IPS). I’ve been able to greatly improve my business and my family’s livelihood. I’ve improved my house, I’ve bought a cart and donkeys to transport my crops, and I now have piped drinking water to my home. I can also afford the school fees for my children. I am so proud that my oldest child is now able to go to university, which was always something I had hoped for my children.
IPS farmers who implement our Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program have access to support such as:
To learn more about the different types of support our GAP program provides, we invite you to explore the GAP Principles & Measurable Standards.