CORESTA Meeting, Agronomy/Phytopathology, Suzhou, 1999, POST03 (adjourned)

Indian tobacco tailored to meet global quality standards

Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI), Rajahmundry (A.P.) India
Exportable quality tobacco in India is produced from the Northern light soil (NLS) zone of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka light soils (KLS). The tobacco from NLS area is semi-flavourful to flavourful and KLS is a neutral filler. These tobaccos cater to the requirements of specific overseas customers. To produce the required style of tobacco, suitable package of practices and fertiliser schedules with special emphasis on green manuring and organic manures were developed and recommended to the farmers by C.T.R.I. In India varieties evolved through conventional breeding techniques alone are grown. The varieties viz. CM-12 (KA), K-326 (NLS-4), Bhavya, have balanced chemistry and good physical attributes. The soils and the tobaccos produced in these areas have sufficient quantities of micronutrients and as such their application is not recommended. The heavy metals, lead and cadmium, are lower than those found in other tobacco producing countries. Intensive awareness programmes focussed on integrated management schedules for the control of pests and diseases involving predators, parasites, bio-agents, botanicals like neem and pongamia, cultural and mechanical methods with only need based pesticide sprays have helped to maintain the pesticide residue levels well below the tolerance limits. Weed control with chemicals is not being practiced in Indian tobacco cultivation. With all these positive aspects, the Indian tobaccos are considered to be clean and naturally grown, worth the value for money.