Tobacco: sun, soil and wisdom

Artemisa, Cuba - In order to provide the scientific-technical bases for the development of the tobacco production chain with efficiency, the Tobacco Research Institute, located in San Antonio de los Baños, contributes satisfactorily to face the problems and demands of the tobacco sector in Cuba.

This purpose today is achieved through the execution of research, development and innovation projects, the commercialization of the results, as well as other services offered by the center, associated with the tobacco agroindustry.

One of the Institute's main research  lines is related to the growing and indiscriminate use of harmful products that affect man and the environment. According to the magazine Cuba Tabaco, Volume 17, the research carried out by specialists Ing. Antonio Núñez Mansito; Msc Ing. Guillermo Quintana Vara; Msc Leonardo Hurtado Luna and Msc Isidoro Martínez Morales, is based on finding solutions to develop an agriculture with a greater organic base. This study is called "Production of organic tobacco for raw tobacco in brown sialitic soil as a sustainable alternative for agriculture".

The project was executed in a sialitic brown soil, whose objective was to produce raw organic tobacco, cultivated in the sun with acceptable yield and quality. The experimental design included six variants resulting from the combination of three doses of cachaça as organic fertilizer (6 t / ha, 10 t / ha and 14 t / ha), with two debon heights (14 and 16 leaves), and one control of production. The area was surrounded by live barriers, formed by crotalaria, sunflower and corn crops, to achieve the establishment of a good natural biological control mainly by predators and parasitoids.

The publication notes that the results indicated better yields and quality of the tobacco leaf, with the application of conventional technology. However, the organic variants showed acceptable tobacco yields compared to the national average. After the study, the researchers concluded that conventional technology allows better yields and quality in tobacco leaves. In general, the applications of chemical products increase the residual content in the soil and its consequences can decrease, if alternative means are used that, besides being healthy, make possible the commercialization of the product at higher prices.

This research, one of the most outstanding during the last years, has influenced in the fulfillment of the strategic objectives of the scientific center and of the rest of the experimental stations, located in several geographical points of the country. Its results point once again to the use of organic products, because the processes must be as natural as the land where it is grown.

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