TOBACCO VARIETY RESEARCH RESULTS PROMISING
Preliminary research results indicate that some tobacco varieties developed by Agriculture Research and Extension Trust (ARET) resist one of the major tobacco root pests called nematodes.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mrs. Erica Maganga disclosed this on Thursday during a one-day tobacco field day organized by ARET in Lilongwe.
Root-knot nematodes are among the most damaging pests that attack tobacco roots.
Tobacco continues to be the country’s major forex earner, having racked in sixty billion kwacha last year alone.
But the crop is currently facing a number of challenges on different fronts, including the anti-smoking lobby being led by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control by the World Health Organisation, changing weather and root pests.
According to the Agriculture Research and Extension Trust (ARET), root-knot nematodes are among the most damaging pests that attack tobacco roots.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Erica Maganga, says the damage caused by these nematodes is of great economic effect to the tobacco industry.
But the Principal Secretary says the preliminary results of research by ARET are promising.
In burley tobacco, where work is in the early stages, the results indicate that there is great potential, as some varieities are showing very good growth.
ARET is also carrying out research on suckers, foliar fertilizers, and alternative methods of curing NDDF tobacco.
The theme for the field day was “Promoting Sustainable Tobacco Technologies to Address Global Challenge.”