New hope for Ilocano tobacco farmers as PGIN-NTA contract underwaySep 10, 2019
With an aim to increase productivity and income of tobacco growers , the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) together with the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) spearheaded a multisectoral collaboration through a meeting-workshop on Tobacco Contract Growing System at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall, last September 4.
Facilitated by officials from the national and provincial offices of the NTA, participants include municipal mayors, municipal agriculture officers, representatives from buyer firms, and other stakeholders of the agriculture sector.
According to NTA's data, last year, the province planted in more than 2,000 hectares of land and yielded 2.89 Million kilograms of tobacco.
"I would like to encourage everyone to push our farmers to plant more tobaccos. If they (farmers) move to [planting] tobacco, we can support them better through the RA7171," Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc emphasized.
Among Ilocos Norte's front liners in tobacco production are the municipalities of Pinili, Paoay, Batac, Banna, Marcos, Dingras, Sarrat, and Piddig.
"Kailangang ma-convince sila na in the long term sila po ang pinaka-beneficiary ng ating gagawin para sa mas maraming tobacco production," he added.
The contract defined the specific roles and obligations of participating units; determined the extent of assistance from LGUs to tobacco farmers, streamlined the system of budgetary requirement; and finalized steps and strategies in improving recording of tobacco in Ilocos Norte.
Over the years, local government units have allocated production assistance to cover expenses of farm inputs, fertilizers, and insecticides,.
Meanwhile, as part of NTA's thrust in improving the economic and living condition of tobacco farmers, the agency helped farmers in addressing tobacco leaf requirements for domestic manufacturing and export.
"In order to solve the problems in the tobacco industry, every year we confer to discuss and come up with unified technology—the various fertilizers and insecticides appropriate for use to cultivate tobacco," remarked NTA Governing Board Member, Director Nestor C. Casela
"Last year, our LGUs had remarkable accomplishments. They followed our technology; they purchased whatever the requirements were. I believe, we will be able to solve issues on yield and quality with it," he ended.