Tabakboerdery van die Klopperse

Eric Kloppers en sy twee seuns Conrad en Barnard.
Eric Kloppers en sy twee seuns Conrad en Barnard.

Omdat ons in hierdie uitgawe so met die twak gepla is, het ons weer gaan inloer. Hierdie keer by die boerdery van die Voorsitter van die Brits Tabak Studiegroep, Eric Kloppers en sy twee seuns Conrad en Barnard. Soos tipiese Brits boere is die ontvangs hartlik en daar word toe sommer dadelik oor hierdie produk gepraat.

 

 

Sommer met die intrapslag wil ons weet hoekom die tabakbedryf so afgeskaal het. Die Brits van destyds was mos hoofsaaklik tabak en koring. “Daar is hoofsaaklik twee faktore,” sê Eric sonder om te aarsel. “Die anti-rook veldtog, plaaslik en internasionaal is baie suksesvol. Hulle aksies fokus skerp op die negatiewe en as sulks kry die bedryf swaar. Die ander faktor is die feit dat daar ‘n stryd is tussen die verskillende koöperasies om die produk te verkoop aan BAT, met ander woorde Brittish American Tobacco, wie die enigste aankoper is. Maar die goeie nuus is dat, dít wat ons gesamentlik produseer, omtrent die behoefte van ons land is. Dit is 12 miljoen kilogram per jaar. As ons oeste groter word, sal ons uitvoermarkte moet gaan soek,” sê hy baie realisties.

Eric noem dat daar in ons omgewing nog ‘n paar baie aktiewe tabakboere is en hulle gaan van krag tot krag. Die bedryf is steeds aan die gang met proewe. Kultivars word verbeter en moderne tegnologie word gebruik om by veranderde klimaatsomstandighede aan te pas.

Rook jy? Eric glimlag baie breed en sê dat hy nog nooit gerook het nie. Destyds het hy probeer maar kon net nie die behoefte ontwikkel nie. Slegs Conrad rook en ons kyk vraend na hom. “Ek rook omdat ek wil en dit vir my lekker is. Enige mens moet self die keuse kan maak,” sê hy ernstig en met groot selfvertroue. Eric noem dat hy ‘n passie het vir die plant. Hy maak mens eintlik entoesiasties.

Hulle hat tans 32 hektaar onder tabak en gebruik 23/10, 48/34 en LK1 kultivars. Daarbenewens is hulle ook baie besig met verskeie proewe. Die bedryf is steeds baie arbeidsintensief en baie werknemers hanteer die plant deur die verskeie stadiums. Die bedryf is steeds soos in die verlede. Hier en daar is aanpassings gemaak soos droërs en verpakking. Nog steeds word die hoëdigtheids beddings gesaai, daarna oorgeplant na saailaaie of beddings en wanneer die plant 15cm en ‘n potloodgrootte stam het, is dit lande toe waar 17,000 plante per hektaar geplant word. Drie maande na planting, nadat die plante getop en gesuier is, word die tabak gepluk. Daarna is dit massadroërs toe, aanklamming, die pak van miedens, klas van die tabak, in die verskeie grade gepak en dan word dit aan die mark gelewer. Klink nogal heel eenvoudig!

Ernstig vra ons vir Eric of die bedryf winsgewend is, immers sal hulle mos nie teen ‘n verlies wil boer nie. “Baie gewis,” sê hy, “maar ons is altyd bewus van die negatiewe druk op ons bedryf. Jy moet onthou dat die fasiliteite al vir dekades op ons plase is en ons bou maar net daarop voort.”

Hy sê dat die industrie nie slaplê nie en aanmekaar besig is om van die negatiewe dinge ontslae te raak. So is daar al weggedoen met sekere gifstowwe wat nadelig is. Hy noem dat hierdie verbeterings ‘n aaneenlopende proses in die tabakbedryf is.

Ons is mos altyd op soek na ‘n storie en Eric vertel met ‘n groot glimlag dat die MKTV van destyds sessies toegelaat het waar ‘n deel van die boer se verkope, tussen 1 en 3 persent, deur die koöperasie aan die boer se kerk oorbetaal is. Die gebruik het intussen verdwyn en die boere moes opnuut leer om vir die kerk geld te gee! Daar was ook die gebruik om elke jaar gedurende November ‘n spesiale fondsinsamelingsfunksie vir die kerk te hou – moontlik om net seker te maak dat dit met die plantery en oes goed sal gaan.

Hierdie drie boere, waarvan twee nie-rokers is, kry satisfaksie. Conrad geniet die produk en sy pa en broer geniet die wonder van die plant. Duidelik is dit lekker om met tabak te boer.

106 thoughts on “Tabakboerdery van die Klopperse

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