Case Study 1
ULT Agronomic Center
Just south of Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil, in the town of Rio Pardo, we established a research station and training center that has become an international model for developing good agricultural practices. The Agronomic Center was initially developed as a seed production facility, and we later expanded its scope to offer a range of programs. The on-site laboratory, production facilities, and experienced staff effectively combine to improve the quality of tobacco year after year, and the Center also offers a place for farmers, technicians and clients to study and learn extensively about tobacco production in Brazil.

Case Study 2
Universal operations purchase leaf tobacco from more than 500,000 farmers around the world. We directly contract with nearly 300,000 individual tobacco farmers, and we estimate that more than 200,000 farmers are involved in our purchases through third party and auction sourcing mechanisms. Collecting and managing data from these farms in an efficient manner has been daunting, to say the least. But thanks to our innovative technology team, we now have MobiLeaf™, a tool that streamlines this process and helps dramatically in achieving our goal of sustainable tobacco growing.

Initiative 1
Dams in Malawi

In Malawi, Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company (LLTC) has undertaken a water storage dam project to provide water access to growers at seedling production time to help improve the yield, quality and survival of their seedlings. The dams also encourage increased dry planting, which results in higher volumes and better quality crops.

Dams are being built in strategic locations in order to provide the farming communities with a source of water throughout the year for both tobacco and food crops, as well as water for domestic and livestock purposes. We evaluate the farmer density in an area, study the water availability and earmark sites for geographical surveys and suitability. The growers are located within a 5 km radius of the project.

Benefits of the project include a permanent water supply; the guarantee of an earlier seedbed production; early water planting; increased hectares of production due to ease of nursery husbandry; higher yields; higher returns; and reduction in time of travel to available sources of water for tobacco nurseries during the dry season.

Permanent water at these sites opens up many different avenues for increased grower profits and sustainable income, ultimately improving the living standards.