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PIA Press Release
Saturday, January 07, 2012


NTA official urges Ilocano farmers to shift from traditional varieties to top tobacco

by Ben P. Pacris

VIGAN CITY, Jan. 7 (PIA) -- National Tobacco Administration Deputy Admin. Everin Molina has warned tobacco farmers to change gear from their traditional techniques to modern technology to improve and stabilize the tobacco industry, which is the “lifeblood” of the Ilocanos.

“The competition in the world market is so stiff,” Molina stressed.

The NTA deputy administrator also said that we will lag behind if we stick to traditional varieties instead of top quality tobacco.

In a weekly “Kapihan iti Amianan” Media Forum recently, the Molina said China and Vietnam are now producing top tobacco while in the Ilocos, many tobacco growers are still applying the traditional techniques in planting.

Molina also commended the merging of Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco Corp., for launching contract growing in the Ilocos to ensure the production of quality tobacco.

The farmers in San Juan town, one of the top tobacco producing towns in Ilocos Sur, were benefitted from this project, aside from the medical mission conducted by this international company in the depressed areas.

Molina also bared that Mindanao farmers are also interested in planting virginia tobacco supported by their local officials due to the economic benefits derived from R. A. 7171 or the Tobacco Excise Tax Law.

The NTA is committed to promote the development of the tobacco industry especially in the quality tobacco production program and to improve the quality of life of all those who depend on the industry as a source of livelihood, the deputy administrator emphasized.

Despite the worldwide campaign against smoking initiated by anti-tobacco advocates, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Molina said that the tobacco industry will still remain as one of the strongest pillars of the economy providing billions of pesos to the national coffers. (JCR/BPP-PIA 1 Ilocos Sur)

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