• July 24, 2024

Cutting out the middlemen

 Cutting out the middlemen

The Philippines’ National Tobacco Administration (NTA) is urging tobacco farmers to take part in the contract growing system (CGS) to strengthen their relationship with, and receive more assistance from, the national government, according to a story in The Manila Bulletin.

The CGS is said to have been developed to protect the farmer’s livelihood from the abusive practices of middlemen.

Under the CGS, farmers need not go through middlemen or brokers, and are guaranteed a ‘fair, good price’ for their tobacco.

‘Through the CGS, the NTA will directly link farmers to buyers who shall pay the farmers based on the prevailing tobacco market value,’ the Bulletin reported.

‘In addition, there will also be grants, assistance, programs and projects available to the specific needs of the farmers which the new administration of the NTA is preparing for them.’

The NTA Deputy Administrator Mel John Verzosa said the CGS provided direct assistance to the sector from the time farmers planted their seeds to harvesting and marketing.

He said the new administration was focused on strengthening the tobacco industry, which provided a big slice of the national government’s revenue through cigarette excise taxes.

“We are urging all our tobacco farmers to avail of the contract growing system because it is very important that they receive the assistance from the NTA,” said Verzosa.

“We see better production after 2017 with the new programs that the government is laying down for farmers. We also know that farmers would opt to go for tobacco production being a sure source of income compared to other agricultural products,” he added.