ROC Tobacco Curing

Hi All

With us at Softrite having so many farmers using our Adaski payroll software, we are constantly being informed of new developments and presentations being made in the Zimbabwean Farming community.

A few weeks ago, we were invited out to a farm in Northern Marondera to listen to Rob Stokes talk about the “Chongi” tobacco curing system that his Chinhoyi-based company, ROC Systems, has built out there. The presentation had a large audience of about 60 established farmers from the surrounding lands.

I have only a layman’s understanding of what is required to transform ripened tobacco, freshly picked from the fields, into the format required by the various sales floors. The bottom line is that the green tobacco is brought to barns the size of a squash court and heated gradually to dry it out ready for buyers to identify the quality and variety for any given bunch of leaves. Young farmers have to wake up at 4 am every day in the curing season to ensure that nothing untoward has happened overnight in the barns. I stepped briefly into the one barn lasting there less than a minute in the unbelievable temperatures that their guys have to bear when checking the crop.

There are, of course, many ways to heat the barns from chopping down and burning nearby trees to using expensive coal. These methods all deplete the environment of essential elements, so the bright minds of our society are constantly thinking about ways to lessen this requirement. Companies like ROC systems have used well-thought-out engineering techniques to develop an environment whereby the tobacco is hung from tiers while heated air is run through the system. Many farms still use the old “modro” tobacco barns. However, Roc Systems has a conversion reducing the energy consumption by 70%.  See in photos below for the modro option.

Rob gave us his detailed engineering perspective on all the processes with the seemingly well-informed audience indicating that this was the sort of product that many of them will be checking out in the near future.

If anyone would like to find out more about ROC Systems or the Chongi Curing method, please contact Mitch at 0773558627 or Glenn at 0772347759

Ciao Mike G.

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