LAOAG CITY—The National Tobacco Administration has cited eight outstanding tobacco growers for the crop year 2017-2018 during the awarding ceremonies held at the NTA building in Batac, Ilocos Norte on Monday, December 17.
Under the burley and native tobacco categories, the awardees were Fredelito Lapitan of Balaweg, Nagbukel, Ilocos Sur; Juan Dumpit of Parian Oeste, Bauang, La Union; Janeth Lilagan of San Manuel, Balungao, Pangasinan; Roberto Reciles of Gatang, Malasiqui, Pangasinan; Michael Maltizo of Annafatan, Amulong, Cagayan; Dante Villaspin of Baculod, Alcala, Cagayan; Albert Cataggatan of Fugu Abajo, Tumauini, Isabela; and Fredelina Remigio of Rizal, Roxas, Isabela.
“The winners were recognized based on the quality and quantity of their produce,” said Felisa Aurellano, Community Development Officer III of the NTA during the awarding ceremony.
Each of the awardees from the different tobacco producing provinces received a plaque of recognition and cash incentive from the agency.
Also cited were the extension workers who assisted the awardees. They are Janette Casiño of Candon Branch, Ambrocio Nisperos of La Union Branch, Edna Perlaoan and Marcos Atela of Pangasinan Branch; Virginous Catalon and Elmerante Ginez of Cagayan Branch; Lagrimas Beltran and Timoteo Dorol of Isabela Branch.
Owing to the nationwide smoking ban issued by President Rodrigo Duterte which prohibits smoking in public places and tax increase, the demand for local tobacco continued to decline.
As a result, the NTA is now concentrating on the production of leaf tobacco for export.
The NTA reported that from 48.22 million kilogram production of all types of tobacco in 2017, this has been reduced to 40 million kilograms this year.
As a way of inspiring farmers to produce tobacco for export, the agency continues to assist them through a contract growing scheme while local government units also extend farming inputs to farmer-beneficiaries. PNA-northboundasia.com