Indiscriminate cutting of trees affects climate
Choma, February 19, NAIS —–Agricultural experts have indicated that the indiscriminate cutting down of trees in Southern province for tobacco curing has direct consequences on climate change.
This came to light during a field day whose theme was ‘’ Innovative and sustainable agriculture’’ held at Popota Tobacco College in Choma by the Zambian Fertilizers and Popota Tobacco College.
Agricultural experts noted that random and massive cutting down of trees has an adverse effects on crop performance as the vice has a direct bearing on the rainfall pattern in areas that have registered tremendous disforestation.
Senior training officer at Popota Tobacco College Richard Chirwa said owing to the escalating indiscriminate cutting down of trees for curing tobacco by farmers, his institution is promoting replanting of various tree species.
Mr Chirwa explained that replanting of diverse tree species will address the problem of indiscriminate cutting down of trees used for tobacco curing.
He was however quick to admit that tobacco as a cash crop has higher profits which can improve the livelihood of rural communities.
Mr Chirwa stated that his institution has embarked on a programme of tree replanting at the college and among farmers engaged in tobacco production aimed at abetting deforestation.
And an Agronomist with Zambian Fertilizers Patrick Muleya said 50 per cent of Zambian soils are acidic due to natural and human activity causes such as farming.
Mr Muleya noted that the demonstration plots that were done at Popota Tobacco College indicated that B-lime compound fertilizer and B organic are measures used to control the acidic soils for better crop performance and production.
He stated that tobacco consequently made soils acidic hence the dire need for control measures to reverse the situation by applying B-Lime compound fertilizer.
Mr Muleya further stated that the combination of B-lime compound fertilizer and CAN fertilizer enhances nitrogen fixing in the soil and phosphorous to promote good root system for the crop.
And Popota Tobacco College Principal Melon Mulafu said the vision of his institution is to train students to become experts and skilled personnel in tobacco production and management.
Mr Mulafu clarified that for agriculture sector to be sustainable, supplies of agriculture inputs, extension and agricultural research must be closely linked to ensure farmers’ plight are addressed efficiently and effectively.