Ilocos tobacco farmers get NTA funds boost livelihood

>> Monday, May 3, 2021

By Freddie G. Lazaro

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – A total of 750 farmers listed under the Tobacco Contract Growing System (TCGS) from tobacco-producing provinces recently received additional source of livelihood from the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) amid the pandemic.
    Each qualified farmer got a heifer through the Beef Cattle Production Assistance Project (BCPAP), which is a part of the livelihood component of the tobacco agency’s sustainable tobacco enhancement program (STEP).
    NTA Administrator Robert Victor G. Seares, Jr. said the BCPAP is one of the priority programs of their agency to lessen economic impact of the pandemic on tobacco growers.
    The administrator worked out last year the immediate implementation of the program in two phases.
     The beneficiaries of the first phase of the program composed of 250 farmers received their heifer last year while the second phase with 500 tobacco growers got their heifer in the early period of 2021.
     Per project guidelines, assistance shall be repaid with two 12-month-old cows, the first and third offspring, within a maximum period of six years.
    The first offspring is the first repayment which is to be loaned out immediately to the next-in-line or downline farmer-cooperator, and the third offspring for the second repayment, to be sold out as the income of the agency to recover the investment.
    Seares, Jr. added the BCPAP, which is a dispersal program of a ready-to-breed upgraded Brahman heifer, is also a part of the livestock component of the agency’s five-year industry development plan, or the STEP, to increase productivity and farmers’ income.
    Another component of the program is the Gulayan at Manukan sa Barangay.
     In a related development, a farmer from La Union gained the first offspring of the Brahman heifer he received under the BCPAP program.
     The heifer of tobacco grower and barangay chairman Robert Opinaldo of Pao, Balaoan, La Union gave birth to a calf on March 28, or just more than a week after he received the production assistance.
     An NTA press statement quoted Opinaldo as saying he was not aware that the heifer was pregnant when he received it from the NTA -La Union Branch on March 19 or during the distribution of the first batch of beneficiaries for the second phase of the project.
    He said he was lucky he gained offspring in a short time.
 With his first calf, Opinaldo will now have the first repayment for the production assistance. -- PIA 1 with NTA reports


  © Blogger templates Palm by 2008

Back to TOP  

Web Statistics