Philippine farmers urged to improve quality
Farmers in the Philippines were encouraged to raise the quality of their tobacco at the 2005 Tobacco Summit held at Baluarte Hills in late March.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap challenged farmers to improve the quality of crops to prevent further imports of tobacco, reports The Philippine Star. The challenge was in response to concerns by the Philippine Association of Tobacco-Based Cooperatives (PATCO) that leaf importation is hurting local farmers.
Carlitos Encarnacion of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) said that the quality of this year’s crop is good and that farmers are earning more than expected. The improved quality is a result of efforts to encourage farmers to plant early and to cease growing tobacco in salty soil.
Top executives from the tobacco industry participated in the summit, including Winston Uy, president of the Philippines Aromatic Tobacco Dealers Association (PATDA); Rodolfo Salanga, president of Philippine Tobacco Institute; Antonio Abaya, president of Fortune Tobacco Corporation; Frank Tan of Fortune Tobacco; and Mabel Mamba and Elmer Mesina of Philip Morris Philippines Inc.