The government has set aside P165 million for an agribusiness project that seeks to provide an additional source of livelihood for tobacco growers in Northern Luzon, the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) said.
The agribusiness project also involves the construction of the AgriPinoy Tobacco Farmers Food Processing and Trading Center (NTA AgriPinoy) at Barangay Nanguneg (village) in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur. The NTA said the trading center will soon engage in contract-growing services for hog and poultry from among tobacco farmers.
The trading center will buy and process meat into best-selling products such as bagnet (pork roast), Vigan longganisa (sausage), tapa, bacon, barbecue and similar products that will be sold in food terminals, groceries, markets, hospitals and offices in Region 1, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Metro Manila.
NTA chief Edgardo D. Zaragoza said in a statement that the project is aimed at improving the economic and living conditions of tobacco-growing communities through an integrated, comprehensive assistance scheme for small tobacco farmers.
“It will also provide an alternative marketing system and business model to increase tobacco farmers’ purchasing and bargaining power and develop farmers’ capabilities to manage dynamic rural enterprises,” he added.
Data from the NTA show that in the first year of operations, farmers stand to earn over P8 million in annual aggregate income, in addition to income from quality tobacco production.
This is projected to increase to P 10.4 million in the second year, P13.6 million in the third year, P17.8 million in the fourth year and P23.3 million in the fifth year of operations.
The project will cover the whole of Ilocos region in the immediate period, starting with Ilocos Sur as its priority coverage, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Pangasinan and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region. In the future, its coverage will expand to other major tobacco-growing provinces in the Cagayan Valley.
Continue reading at Business Mirror