Story by Fungai Jachi
Tobacco farmers have hailed a technology used towards fighting against pests saying it has guaranteed them high yields per hectare this year.
Farmers say this year is expected to be the turning point in tobacco farming and expect better prices when the marketing season opens next week.
Crop science researchers and agronomists say they will continue to explore ways of enhancing yields in tobacco farming.
Agronomist Kudzanai Mupotsi explained, “If you look at the root system of the two plants, one has nodes and few root hairy while this one has many root hairs. This translates to the uptake of plant nutrients with the affected losing about 40 per cent of plant nutrients.”
Crop Science expert Qa Khumalo said, “The scientific discovery of the damages caused by nematodes is a plus to the growth of the agriculture industry in the country. Even the quality of our tobacco crop will improve greatly matching the global standard.”
Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board has been warning farmers against side marketing which threatens the viability of the sector. With the good rains and proper handling of the golden leaf, experts are estimating yields of above 260 million kilogrammes.