Labour Laws

Dear Helen,

Evaporation 31st Jan to 5th Feb 1-19, 6, 7, 2-1, 4, 3-1

I was not aware (until I attended the TAZ meeting at the club on Friday) that the Labour Laws have been tightened. Once we offer a worker a second fixed term contract they become permanent and are entitled to pensions. Also, we cannot NOT renew that contract without good reason – i.e. we have to convince the Labour officer that we have good reason NOT to renew the contract. Perhaps all the discussion on this issue has been taking place on What’sApp but I am surprised that there has not been much more from the ZNFU and ZFE. Also at that meeting Albert reminded us that, in future, in order to sell tobacco, our tobacco passports will have to include a declaration (and possibly even proof) that we are complying with the laws of Zambia – NAPSA, Tax, Workmen’s Compensation, etc. I am not sure how we are going to be able to declare that we are complying with the current Labour Law….. More research needed.

I am VERY sorry that I won’t be attending Tuesday’s discussion group to go over the tour by several farmers to South Africa to see what they are doing with tobacco. Not only will I be doing something infinitely less pleasant, but I think that what they learned in SA will be one of those pivotal moments when we raise our knowledge of tobacco by several notches. I gather they are putting HUGE amounts of nitrogen on their crops. I certainly feel that some of my tobacco should have had more N and I have done a trail of an extra 10kg/ha of N (from Pot nitrate) and I intend to follow those clips of tobacco through to the end of curing. But 10kg/ha is irrelevant compared to the SA figures.

Not only do I think we have a LOT to learn still (adapting this latest SA knowledge to our conditions) but also adapting to climate. With the lack of research in this country I think ALL of us should try at least a hectare of tobacco that is ‘outside the box’. Given that most experiments end in failure (or at least a null result) the more of these trial hectares we have the sooner we will discover what works in this market, with these varieties and in this weather.

Keep well and I hope you can keep wet, Bruce

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