Mighty Corporation, a Bulacan-based cigarette manufacturer, is willing to work hand-in-hand with the government to uplift the state of farmers. This was announced by Oscar P. Barrientos, the company’s Executive Vice President. This statement was announced after the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) reported that tob@cco dust is being manufactured and promoted as alternative boosts the growth of lablab, an algae and natural fish food, and serves as fish pond floor conditioner. Mighty Corp is committing to assist the NTA in promoting this alternative and help marginalized fish pond owners and operators as well as tobacco farmers nationwide.
Barrientos said, “We will be happy to offer better prices to tobacco farmers and are willing to tie-up with the Department of Agriculture and NTA to cement our partnership with the farmers.” He confirmed that the Philippine tob@cco company will donate tobacco dust. The company owned by the Wongchuking family believes that by doing so, they are helping both tobacco farmers and fish pond owners and operators increase their yield. The NTA manufactures Tobacco Dust Plus (TDP) and re-dried and pulverized leaves at a plant in Sto. Tomas, La Union.
In the process, specks of dust from the leaves fall off, creating tobacco dust. Barrientos commended the government for providing an effective and economic option to replace highly toxic and cyanide-based chemicals used in preparation or sterilization of fishponds. He said that fish pond owners and operators who used it to prepare their ponds before stocking fingerlings will find it effective in sterilizing their ponds of snails and other fish pond predators. This is backed by the studies conducted by a team from the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (Seafdec) in Iloilo under the supervision of Dr. Joebert D. Toledo.
Iloilo School of Fisheries, Philippine Council for Aquaculture and Marine Resources Research and Development and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, particularly in Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Pangasinan and Ilocos Sur are the other partners of NTA. The projects conducted in the same area showed promising results from the use of tobacco dust. A proof that such project will be effective if manage properly. The good news is that business organizations like Mighty Corp are willing to provide assistance.
Barrientos also revealed that Mighty Corp. aims to increase the income of the tob@cco-growing industry by buying 10 million tobacco leaves from local farmers all over the country. The green price for that volume of purchase amounts to P700,000. This was a welcome development to farmers in the north specifically in Pangasinan and Ilocos region. The farmers find tob@cco farming more profitable than planting corn, which is the only other crop they grow in their land.
The company bought 5 million kilos of leaves from local farmers. This 2014, it intends to increase its purchase by 100% by buying 10 million kilos of tobacco leaves from farmers in Ilocos Norte, Cagayan Valley and other parts of the country. The rise in the production of tob@cco leaves is expected to help millions of farmers and their families who rely on the cigatette industry. Barrientos said Mighty Corp. has a long-term plan to further improve its market share and help hundreds of thousands of farm workers in the country.