The Taiwan Tobacco Liquor Corporation will stop buying tobacco leaves in March. Thus recently harvested tobacco leaves may be the last batch ever grown by farmers on the island. To showcase the history of Taiwan's tobacco industry, a Hakka Park in Pingtung set up a tobacco drying building for people to experience tobacco drying and processing, and learn about the industry's development over the years.
Folded tobacco leaves are hung in the processing plants, all pushed in as tight as possible. They are to be dried by smoke for 10 days hung upside down. In the early days, tobacco processing plants did not have computer thermostats and whole families of tobacco farmers maintained a 24 hour watch in shifts.
You had to watch the process around the clock and couldn't go to bed at night. Moreover, you had to keep feeding firewood to the furnace. And the firewood had to be chopped into smaller pieces so that they fit into the furnace.
Touching the just-harvested leaves and smelling the scent of smoke, experiencing the processing, students really understand the hard work put in by tobacco farmers and the part of Taiwan's history that tobacco farmers formed.
==MS. LIN Academic==
You can feel that growing tobacco is really hard work and they are all quite old.
==MR. CHEN Academic==
We should conserve this for children or just the public to know the difficult side of life as a tobacco farmer
==MS. TSENG Academic==
This is a really valuable experience of this million dollar industry.
The organizers hope that this experience will help the public to understand the tobacco farming industry and the part it plays in Hakka culture. At the same time this is a witness to the work of tobacco processing plants and the rise and fall of tobacco in Taiwan agriculture.
TRANSLATED BY：CLARE LEAR
HAKKA PARK SHOWCASES THE LAST OF THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY|見證末代菸葉 燻菸體驗了解產業文化
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