Tobacco Damaged by Fake Chemicals

    Photo: Taco Tuinstra

    At least 400 ha of irrigated tobacco have been damaged in Zimbabwe after farmers applied counterfeit chemicals to their crop, reports The Sunday Mail.

    Following reports of abnormally growing tobacco plants in October, plant health service officers determined that some farmers had used chlorpyrifos, a hazardous pesticide that is banned for use on tobacco and many other crops, according to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).

    Remarkably, the symptoms on the affected crops are typically associated with 2,4D-related herbicide damage rather than the use of chlorpyrifos, according to TIMB director for research and extension services Susan Dimbi, who warned farmers against using unregistered agrochemicals.

    Zimbabwean police and seed company officials have launched a campaign to crack down on counterfeit agricultural products, which are generally sold at considerably lower prices than genuine products.