Bulacan-based cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corporation, is looking into developing and promoting the alternative use for tobacco as a way of help reducing Filipino farmers’ reliance on chemical-based pesticides that will result in increase tobacco farmers’ income and protection of the environment.
Recent studies show that tobacco, used in the manufacture of cigarettes, can also be an alternative organic pesticide against insects as aphids, leaf rollers and stem borers. Some even consider it more effective and much safer pesticide than chemical-based ones, which is said to destroy soil productivity and harm the environment.
Mighty Corp. Executive Vice President Oscar Barrientos emphasize that the initiative was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) thrust. He said, “A small but growing number of Filipino farmers were shifting from chemical-based to organic pesticides, or a combination of the two. This trend should be encouraged.
Based on gathered reports, Filipino farmers make up 11.55 million of the country’s 38.6-million-member labor force and contribute 20 percent of its gross domestic product. Every year, their production of main agricultural crops like rice, corn, coconuts, sugarcane, bananas, pineapples, coffee, mangoes and abaca are damaged by insects and other pests.
Also greatly affected are secondary crops that includes peanuts, cassava, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, cabbages, eggplants, calamansi, rubber, and cotton. Nicotine from tobacco has been used on crops as a natural insecticide and has been proven to be safe with no health and environmental risks compared to chemical-based pesticides.
Mighty Corp. continues to coordinate with key agencies as National Tobacco Administration (NTA), Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna (UPLB) to ensure the success of this project that is expected to a big help to the farmers.