Research recommends tobacco intercropping
By Wezzie Gausi:
Research conducted by the Agricultural Research and Extension Trust (Aret) has shown that producing tobacco with legumes on one field produces higher yields for farmers.
Aret Chief Executive Officer Albert Changaya said this on Wednesday during a field day organised by Aret at Mwimba Research Station in Kasungu.
He said it was crucial that tobacco farmers should embrace tobacco varieties which are researched locally as they respond better to local conditions than imported varieties.
“For some time now, farmers have been struggling to decide on which crop to grow.
“If farmers want to maximise their profits, then it’s high time they start using locally researched varieties as they are researched in the same conditions they will be grown,” Changaya said.
Controller of Agricultural Services in the Ministry of Agriculture Jeromy Nkhoma commended Aret for the research as demonstrated at plots at Mwimba research Station.
He said the four years of research done by Aret is a solution to land shortage facing many farmers to decide on the type of crops to grow due to limited land.
“As a government, we are very happy with what Aret is doing. And it is our hope that many tobacco growers will follow suit.
“With this new method of farming, farmers are assured of having two different crops on one piece of land,” Nkhoma said.
One of the farmers, Lovenes Tambala from Traditional Authority Kawamba, said the field day was an eye opener.
“With the growing population, farmers do share the same piece of land for farming. This is not a good thing as farm-lands are getting smaller every year,” Tambala said.
During the field day, farmers were also taken through several demonstrations in tobacco farming.