Agrobusiness Process of Tobacco
Process of Tobacco
The tobacco that is rolled into cigars is grown in tropical regions of the world, being Nicaragua world renown for the quality tobacco that its different regions produce.
The seed is the base of a quality tobacco, and the one that transmit the DNA that characterize the black tobacco from Cuba and that has been successfully transplanted into Nicaraguan soil by Cuban families that migrated into this country and that now its cultivated in all its modern versions.
That is why seed selection is made from the best plants, which are covered by a hood, so that they do not cross pollinate with others and maintain their purity.
Seeds are placed in hotbeds in individual pans, protected from the sun by a thin cotton fabric. They are allowed to grow and in about 45 to 50 days they are replanted into the fields. See the small seedlings in the photo.
· Field: The field is properly prepared to receive the seedlings. The plant is going to remain for about 3 to 4 months in the field.
· Crop: Tobacco is planted in late September and generally it takes 2 months to reach maturity. Harvesting begins before the plant flowers and can take several months as the leaves are harvested in different phases.
At around 2 months, cutting begins, from down up the plant. In each cut, only 2 leaves are cut, in order to preserve the strength of the plant.
Cutting begins with the Secos, these are the thinner leaves and the most aromatic, afterwards the Visos, that is the medium part of the plant and that has a medium aroma. followed by the Ligero, that are leaves of the upper part of the plant, the ones that receive the most sun, are the thickest leaves and the ones that provide the strongest strength and aroma.
Tobacco plants are cut 7 to 8 times, always cutting the leaves in pairs of two.
Once the tobacco is harvested the leaves are sent to tobacco barns that are called “Galeras”, where the tobacco is dried. Leaves are tied in pairs and hung for the curing process.
The Galera always faces from West so that the sun hits one side in the morning and one side at sunset. The doors at either side can be opened to keep the temperature at the desired level.
The tobacco is kept in the Galera depending in the type of leaf; during this process the leaves turn from green to yellow to brown. The thinner leaves are the ones that stay the least amount of time and the thicker ones, the most. The leaves that are called Secos, which come from the lower part of the plant, are kept around 30 to 35 days, the middle cuts or Visos 40 to 45 days and the ligeros that come from the upper part of the plant are kept around 60 days.