Industry provides jobs to farmers

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum talks to one of the BAT staff members. Picture: NAVNESH REDDY

THE tobacco industry is providing much-needed job opportunities with more than 600 farmers signed up as growers and 1100 seasonal workers employed in the sector this year.

This, according to BAT Fiji general manager Jeremy Hackett.

“Fiji is one of the very few countries where BAT undertakes tobacco farming to support the growth of local agriculture,” he said during commissioning of a new Tobacco Leaf Processing Facility, at the British American Tobacco, Leaf Growing Division, Votualevu, Nadi.

“Due to this, employment to approximately 1100 seasonal workers and hundreds of local farmers are provided employment. “And this year, we have signed more than 600 farmers to grow leaf as well.”

He said BAT was grateful to Government for providing incentives and concessions for the business to grow.

“We appreciate the Government for its ongoing support in the form of export incentives and concessions, that has allowed the business to provide greater support to the agricultural sector.”

Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the new facility would help BAT build a stockpile of tobacco, and in cases of emergency, especially during cyclones, “have enough leaf to last for at least 18 months”.

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