BAT signs MoU to help emerging tobacco farmers in E Cape

Tobacco farming is making a comeback in the Eastern Cape with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the JSE’s second-largest company by market capitalisation – British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) – and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) to support emerging farmers.

BATSA will fund training in tobacco production and general mixed crop farming, as well as skills development, and will buy and process the tobacco produced by the farmers.

The ECDC will help to identify emerging farmers for inclusion in the programme, facilitate co-funding of co-operatives and programmes and help to manage and monitor implementation.

“This public-private partnership is aligned with our provincial development plan of revitalising the rural economy. It is a significant milestone in ensuring we realise the objective of not only positioning the province as a food growing area but also develop agro processing in the rural areas,” said ECDC CEO Ndzondelelo Dlulane.

The development body will also assess the impact of the project on emerging farmers and local communities.

“As the farmers realise income from tobacco farming, the programme also addresses the issue of food security and poverty alleviation because of rotational food crop farming,” said Dlulane.

The Eastern Cape pilot project, which started in 2016 with consultations with the ECDC and the provincial Department of Agriculture, will be expanded in September 2018 with the planting of 10 hectares of tobacco and 10 hectares of alternate crops.

“Our commitment to transformation has led us to expand our programme from 33 tobacco growers in 2016 to 155 tobacco growers in 2018. We are excited to bring the benefits of this programme to the Eastern Cape, to create jobs and opportunities for the people of the province,” said BATSA CEO Soraya Benchikh.

Tobacco is currently produced mainly in Limpopo (37.2%), Mpumalanga (54.7%) and the North West Province (8.1%).

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
16.53
-1.1%
Rand - Pound
19.76
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.97
+0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.24
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.9%
Gold
1,766.21
-2.4%
Silver
19.24
-3.7%
Palladium
1,936.57
+0.1%
Platinum
868.51
-2.1%
Brent Crude
113.50
+1.7%
Top 40
58,953
-3.3%
All Share
65,006
-3.1%
Resource 10
59,416
-7.1%
Industrial 25
80,333
-1.1%
Financial 15
14,357
-3.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot