KT&G deployed employee volunteers to help leaf tobacco farmers who are struggling due to a shortage of workers in Asan City, South Chungcheong Province.
South Korea’s leaf tobacco is harvested in midsummer, from July to August. It is difficult to mechanize, and most of the harvest is performed manually, requiring a lot of labor. Korean farms have been experiencing difficulties in securing a sufficient workforce due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the decline of the rural population.
In response, KT&G has been deploying employee volunteers to leaf tobacco farms every year since 2007. This year, employees of the Raw Materials HQ and Gimcheon Plant visited a leaf tobacco farm in Dunpo-myeon, Asan City, and helped harvest about 5,700 kg of leaf tobacco from 16,000 square meters of cultivated land.
KT&G provides help not only in leaf tobacco harvesting in the summer but also in transplantation in the spring.
The company has also continued to provide economic support for the promotion of the welfare of leaf tobacco farmers. In May, the company donated KRW400 million to support health checks for farmers and to provide scholarships for the children of farmers. From 2013 to the present, the accumulated amount of support amounted to KRW2.85 billion, benefiting 7,957 farmers to date.
“I hope that this employee harvesting service has been of some help to farmers who are struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic and heat waves,” a KT&G official said in a statement. “We will continue to provide practical support to improve the quality of life of farmers, and we will strive to continue to grow together with them.”