The Philippines number one producer of low-priced brand cigarettes is looking into developing and promoting the use of tobaccos as an alternatives to chemical-based pesticides in farming.
Mighty Corporation or Mighty Corp aims to combine an increase in production yield and promote an environment-friendly way of growing tobaccos which will eventually result to more income for the local farmers.
Recent studies show that tobaccos can also be an alternative organic pesticide against insects as aphids, leaf rollers and stem borers. A lot of farmers even consider it a more effective and a much safer pesticide than chemical-based ones, which is said to destroy soil productivity and harm the environment.
Mighty Corp Executive Vice President Oscar P. Barrientos said that the initiative was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) thrust.
“A small but growing number of Filipino farmers were shifting from chemical-based to organic pesticides, or a combination of the two. This trend should be encouraged.” said Barrientos.
Based on reports, Filipino farmers make up 11.55 million of the country’s 38.6-million-member labor force and contribute 20% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
However, every year their production of main agricultural crops like rice, corn, coconuts, sugarcane, bananas, pineapples, coffee, mangoes and abaca are damaged by insects and other pests.
Also greatly affected are secondary crops that includes peanuts, cassava, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, cabbages, eggplants, calamansi, rubber, and cotton.
The nicotine in the tobacco plant has been used on crops as a natural insecticide and has been proven to be safe with no health and environmental risks compared to chemical-based pesticides.
Mighty Corp continues to coordinate with key agencies like the National Tobacco Administration (NTA), Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna (UPLB) to ensure the success of the project.