All our farmers benefit from Pakistan Tobacco Company's full time Leaf extension services
Pakistan Tobacco Company growers are amongst the most progressive in the country, benefiting from our constant support and guidance.
Our farmers are considered by us to be one of our most important stakeholders. As part of an economy highly dependant on its agricultural sector, Pakistan Tobacco Company takes great pride in making a positive difference to the lives of those who work in the fields. To improve the conditions of trade for the farmers, the Company has recently launched a fully integrated, electronic system for leaf purchasing called BATLeaf. The system allows for efficient purchasing during the buying season, ensuring that the farmer gets prompt compensation.
The best farming practices introduced by Pakistan Tobacco Company are also now being applied to other crops in the NWFP and parts of the Punjab.
In 1948, we pioneered the cultivation of Virginia tobacco in Pakistan with an average yield per hectare of 861 kg. Through our continuous efforts and the hard work put in by our contracted farmers, the yields have increased significantly to 2,400 kg/hectare. This compares very favourably with benchmark yields in the USA and Brazil.
This has been the result of farming best practices facilitated by us, such as:
- Research and introduction of high yielding, disease resistant varieties of tobacco and the free distribution of their seeds to growers.
- Polyethylene covers; for tobacco seed production that are now being widely used for growing vegetables, such as cucumber.
- Introduction of compound fertilizers; which contributed to higher yield and quality improvements.
- Introduction of diesel water pumps; as a low cost alternative to supplement irrigation in the rain fed area of Buner, NWFP.
- Introduction of mechanical ploughing for tobacco cultivation in some areas of the NWFP.
- Launching of a fully integrated electronic system for leaf purchasing called BATLeaf. The system allows for efficient purchasing during the buying season, with the payments for the farmers labour available to him within the month.
All these initiatives have resulted in reducing the land under tobacco cultivation, while at the same time producing an exportable surplus through high yield per acre while ensuring greater returns for our farmers.
Responsibility in the supply chain
British American Tobacco is the only international tobacco company with a significant interest in tobacco leaf growing. The Group works with thousands of farmers internationally providing them with agronomy support and guidance in environmental best practices.
Pakistan Tobacco Company is responsible for one of the largest leaf growing operations within British American Tobacco, and it is our job to convey these international best practices to our local farming community and also convince them about the economic and environmental viability of these practices. The benefits of international linkages coupled with local wisdom have resulted in the creation of a community of tobacco farmers that are at the cutting edge of agricultural science and productivity.