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Farmers asked to raise veggie, poultry, swine

SANTA, Ilocos Sur – The Productivity and Growth thru Marketing Assistance (PGMA) Multiline Processing and Agribusiness Products has stepped up buying hogs, chicken and vegetables from farmers in the province.

Atty. Carlitos Encarnacion, administrator of the National Tobacco Administration and concurrently operations manager of the PGMA Multiline, said the operation of the plant is now in full blast even as he enjoined the tobacco farmers to support the firm’s agri-business projects and patronize its products.

Encarnacion said the farmers in the province will serve as the main suppliers of raw materials needed in the plant’s operation through a contract growing scheme.

“The operational fund of Multiline did not come from RA 7171 fund. It came from a similar source of tobacco excise tax of 10% retained from the RA 1455 otherwise known as the “Virginia Tobacco Act of 1961,” Encarnacion explained even as he urged the farmers to raise more vegetables, chicken, pigs, goats, and fruit trees.

The PGMA Multiline’s fullblast operations was launched in the middle week of October which coincided with the visit of Presidential Management Staff Sec. Arthur Yap to the province of Ilocos Sur.

Yap was designated by Pres. Arroyo as pointman to monitor the mega projects in the North Luzon Agri-business Growth Quadrangle which is composed of the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera.

Yap also visited the Banaoang Pump Irrigation Project in Bantay, Ilocos Sur and the Salomague Port in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur and the power projects in Ilocos Norte and the Fort Ilocandia in Laoag City.

Yap said P5 bilion was alloted for the BPIP which he said would irrigate the farms in District I that would benefit around 30,000 farmers.

The management of PGMA Multiline was turned over by the provincial government to NTA to serve as marketing arm for the produce of the farmers especially vegetables, hogs and chicken.