Agreement on livelihood’s provision for tobacco farmers inked

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014


VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur -- Organized tobacco farmers from Northern Luzon signed an agreement with a cigarette manufacturer to pursue joint projects designed to uplift the lives of farming families in Northern Luzon.

The partnership was sealed by top Mighty Corp. executives, retired general Edilberto P. Adan and retired judge Oscar P. Barrientos, president and executive vice president of Mighty respectively and Mario Cabasal, head of the National Federation of Tobacco Farmers and Cooperatives Inc. (NAFTAC) in a hotel in Bauang, La Union last week under a banner theme: “Sama-sama Tayong Pilipino sa Pagyabong ng Industriya ng Tabako.”

To highlight of the consultative meeting between 200 tobacco farmer leaders in Pangasinan, La Union, Abra and the Ilocos provinces and Mighty Corporation in this city, Mighty executives through its Wong Chu King Foundation Inc. turned over 16 units of hand tractors worth P2.5 million and 90 units of water pumps worth P1.1 million to chapter delegations from seven provinces in Northern Luzon.

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This was the initial gesture of support delivered out of the twin 10-million projects of the new major player in the cigarette industry.

“We are happy that Mighty Corporation has stood firm on its commitments to help the 65,000 strong tobacco farmers in the Philippines with their pronouncements this year to purchase 10-million kilograms of tobacco leaves and the P10-million outreach projects for tobacco farmers,” said Cabasal after the agreement was signed by the new partners.

“This is a big help to tobacco farmers,” added Cabasal.

The federation president expressed elation over Mighty Corporation’s commitments to initially buy at least 10 million kilograms of tobacco leaves.

Cabasal also lauded the latest announcement by Mighty Corporation of a P10-million three-pronged programs to directly help tobacco farmers produce better quality tobacco that included the donation of support farm implements like irrigation pumps and tractors, sponsoring new 100 college scholar grants for the sons and daughters of tobacco farmers and the institutional support for the annual search for outstanding tobacco farmers and cooperatives.

The federation’s Ilocos Norte got two tractors and 12 water pumps; Ilocos Sur Bantay chapter - two tractors and three water pumps; Ilocos Sur-Candon Chapter – 2 tractors and 20 water pumps; La Union Chapter – 2 tractors and 14 water pumps; Abra Chapter – 2 tractors and 11 water pumps; Pangasinan Chapter – 2 tractors and 13 water pumps; Cagayan Chapter – 2 tractors and 5 water pumps; and the Isabela Chapter – 2 tractors and 5 water pumps.

Mighty Corporation Executive Vice President Oscar P. Barrientos said the cigarette firm has earlier sought the help of the National Tobacco Administration on how to go about their planned purchase of 10-million kilograms of tobacco leaves and the multi-pronged P10-million Corporate Social Responsibility program for tobacco farmers and their families.

Details of the scholarship program and how the scholars would be allocated are yet to be polished before it gets unrolled by the newest player in the tobacco industry. (PNA)

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