Good Agricultural Practice

  • Variety selection should be based on the following criteria:
    • Disease resistance
    • Curing characteristics and cured leaf quality
    • Yield
    • Holding ability
  • Review actual on-farm variety performance records and Extension information such as the “University Tobacco Production Guides” at the start of each season. Your local Extension Agent is also available to help in variety selection.
  • Identify and test new varieties, which show potential to improve your farm’s overall performance.
  • Use only certified seed and LC varieties for dark and burley tobacco. Plant only varieties approved by your contracting company.
  • Avoid planting varieties with high resistance to black shank race 0 and little or no resistance to race 1 in the same fields consecutively over a period of years.

A multiplicity of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) codes, standards and regulations have been developed in recent years by the food industry and producers organizations but also governments and NGOs, aiming to codify agricultural practices at farm level for a range of commodities. Their purpose varies from fulfilment of trade and government regulatory requirements (in particular with regard to food safety and quality), to more specific requirements of specialty or niche markets. The objective of these GAP codes, standards and regulations include, to a varying degree:

  • ensuring safety and quality of produce in the food chain
  • capturing new market advantages by modifying supply chain governance
  • improving natural resources use, workers health and working conditions, and/or
  • creating new market opportunities for farmers and exporters in developing countries.

Good Agricultural Practices are “practices that address environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm processes, and result in safe and quality food and non-food agricultural products” (FAO COAG 2003 GAP paper)

These four ‘pillars’ of GAP (economic viability, environmental sustainability, social acceptability and food safety and quality) are included in most private and public sector standards, but the scope which they actually cover varies widely.

The concept of Good Agricultural Practices may serve as a reference tool for deciding, at each step in the production process, on practices and/or outcomes that are environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable. The implementation of GAP should therefore contribute to Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD)