NTA to agriculturists: Adjust cropping pattern

November 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm 1 comment

by Virgilio Sar. Maganes

ROSALES- To enable farmers to plant tobaccos, municipal agriculturists in towns where tobacco thrives should establish a cropping pattern by which tobacco could be planted..

National Tobacco Administration (NTA) Provincial Manager Cesario Sambrana said the best cropping pattern will be tobacco-corn-palay in which tobacco will be planted during November to February, corn from March to June and palay from July to October.

“The said cropping pattern will support the tobacco industry in the province and farmers will again be active in planting tobacco,” he said.

Sambrana also said based on technical studies, corn farms could easily be planted to tobacco because water is controlled unlike in palay areas where irrigation is used and water is not controllable.

Like corn, Sambrana said, tobacco must be watered at a controlled level thus the proposed cropping pattern could encourage farmers to shift back to tobacco production.

“With the increase of tobacco production, the province’s share from the tobacco excise tax will also be increased. Our office has not benefitted at all from the tobacco excise tax but if you will observe the tax share is also helping the other crops due to farm-to-market roads, farm equipment and fertilizer subsidies,” Sambrana further said.

He likened the tobacco industry as the “goose that lays the golden eggs” but if not be supported by the local government units, their tobacco excise tax share will decrease dramatically in the years to come.

Sambrana noted that due to contract growing of tobacco, many farmers are now shifting back to tobacco production and said these farmers must also be supported with drying facilities to properly cure tobacco leaves.

He said his office is not recommending sun drying, the usual practice of farmers, because it lessens the quality of tobacco leaves.

“Tobacco leaves must be protected from intense heat and moisture that is why a curing barn which is built from black plastic sheets is highly recommended,” he explained.

Sambrana further said in Pangasinan, a total of 3,069.49 hectares involving 4,502 farmers are programmed for burley production for cropping year 2010-2011 while native tobacco has a total area of 973 hectares involving 1,567 farmers has also been programmed.

“I wish that Governor (Amado) Espino will also hold a dialogue with the municipal agriculturists to (show) his support to the tobacco industry. Tobacco contract growing is economically favorable to farmers because of support from the big tobacco companies,” he said.

Entry filed under: News.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Monette Herrera  |  November 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    sir can i get your article and i will be re angling it, to post in Philippine Information Agency(website)…thank you po!


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