PH tobacco production jumps in 4Q2015
The Philippines’ production of tobacco soared by 160 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to1,140 metric tons with the expansion of contract growing for Virginia tobacco in Misamis Oriental.
According to data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Virginia tobacco accounted for three fourths of total tobacco production, with the native tobacco variety accounting for a quarter of the total.
The BAS said Philip Morris-Fortune Tobacco Corp. expanded its contract growing in Claveria, Misamis Oriental and provided farmers with implements and fertilizer subsidy. The incentives proved to be more than enough to convince farmers to grow the crop. Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco are said to control over 90 percent of the Philippine cigarette market.
The BAS said the area planted to tobacco expanded by 51 percent to 1,338 hectares in the second half of 2015 from just 888 hectares in the same period in 2014. Depending on the variety planted, tobacco takes at least 60 days before it can be harvested.
The BAS said Northern Mindanao is the country’s biggest producer of tobacco, accounting for 1,130 metric tons.
The BAS did not report any harvest of tobacco from the Ilocos region, which has long been associated with the crop. (Eileen A. Mencias)