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Cash to ‘Marginalized’ Philippine Growers

Photo: Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Co.

The Philippines’ National Tobacco Board (NTA) has allocated about PHP17 million ($306,077) to assist marginalized tobacco growers in Ilocos Norte, reports the Philippine New Agency.

At least 160 beneficiaries from the towns of Pinili, Batac and Badoc received their respective PHP6,000 grant on Thursday. The next distribution will continue until all the target recipients have received their cash assistance.

The grant targets growers who are tilling lots of 0.5 hectare and below to reduce their production cost. The assistance will cover the cost of fertilizers, crop protection agents, seedlings, suckercides, land preparation, gas and oil, fuelwood and labor.

Tobacco-growing provinces and municipalities in the Philippines collect their share from tobacco excise tax collections based on the volume of leaves produced by their local tobacco growers.

The NTA also provides assistance for rice production, improved tobacco seedlings production and beef cattle production.