Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) in tobacco leaf production
In recent years the agricultural industry has experienced accelerating change. Globalisation is now a fact of life. This means that product and in our case, tobacco could be produced in one part of the world and used in manufacture of product in another to supply consumers in that market or be exported to yet another market. In these circumstances a need has been confirmed that certain practices should be in place to determine the way in which tobacco is grown to meet the requirements of stakeholders and to assure environmental sustainability. Requirements of these stakeholders cover a broad range of aspects such as yield, leaf style, smoke characteristics, price, sustainability, health and safety and others and the attainment of these are specific goals of GAP. An important issue is that a balance of these various aspects must be maintained and GAP should address this. In many countries around the world these aforementioned practices have been applied already through pest management, nutrient management and conservation agriculture. A number of members of CORESTA have followed GAP and CORESTA itself has devoted considerable effort to establish a set of guidelines for the production of leaf tobacco. A task force was set up to consolidate available knowledge to provide a generic set of practices for the tobacco industry.