In Philippines production of tobacco increased by 11.8% to 53,750 metric tons in 2013 as prices rose and financing for farmers increased. According to Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), 52.5% of 2013 crop was Virginia tobacco. A fifth part of crop was native tobacco and the rest was Burley, that is used mainly in production of all kinds of cigarettes.
Financial and marketing help to tobacco growers in Ilocos Sur increased Virginia tobacco output by 19.5% to 28,245 MT. Burley production increased by 5.7% to 14,702 MT because reasonable prices encouraged more farmers in Occidental Mindoro and Pangasinan to grow this tobacco sort. Besides this, farmers in Occidental Mindoro got a financial and marketing assistance by PMFTC.
In 2013 the Ilocos region accounted for 69% of national tobacco output. Due to AgriPinoy program, more than hundred tobacco farmers in Ilocos Sur and Abra were able to gain P25.24 million by raising hogs in between tobacco crops.
The National Tobacco Administration buys the well-fed hog at a market price and sells them as processed meat to food terminals, supermarkets. trading outlets, government offices.
In October 2013, the NTA launched a new food-processing and trading facility in order to connect farmers to their market without going through middlemen. The facility will help tobacco growers to buy agricultural inputs and in sell their products.
Edgardo D. Zaragoza, the NTA Administrator, told that additional P35 million has been given to the AgriPinoy center. It is expected that the center will attract more tobacco growers.
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