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Suitability of tobacco dust for agricultural purposes

By: Sana Akhtar, Sarah Shakeel, Almas Hamid, Sajid Rashid Ahmad

Key Words: Alstonia scholaris, NPK, Organic compost, Soil fertility, Tobacco dust

J. Bio. Env. Sci. 9(4), 102-113, October 2016.

Abstract

The waste from tobacco industry in Pakistan is either disposed off in landfills or sent for incineration. Being majorly organic, the tobacco dust can serve as potential soil amendment. This study aims on the possibility of recycling of tobacco dust through its application to soil. This will lead to sustainable agricultural waste management. Tobacco dust and organic compost were applied to treatment A and B with selected dose. Effects on growth rate and leaf number of plant (Alstonia scholaris) were observed. Samples were analyzed for NPK, Organic Matter, Moisture Content, pH, Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Nickel (Ni) were analyzed for 13 weeks. Results showed highest average growth rate i.e. 20.3 cm and 22.7 cm in sample A4 (TD400g) and B4 (OF200g) respectively. Tobacco dust improved soil NPK and Organic Matter i.e. 3.46% in sample A1 (TD1000g), 2.68% in sample A5 (TD200g), 2.21% in sample A1 (TD1000g), 5.32% in sample A1 (TD1000g) respectively but remained low when compared to soil supplemented by organic compost. In conclusion tobacco dust in combination with organic compost, can serve as soil amendment by improving the nutrients to optimum level. The concentration of heavy metals in both treatment (p>0.05) were below the permissible limit. The adequate dose of tobacco dust increased the growth and leaf number thus making it suitable for plants and reducing the need of its incineration.

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