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Flood relief has been promised to tobacco producers who have been harmed by the flooding.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) announced on Wednesday that the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) is working out the details of its production support program for tobacco growers whose crops were harmed by flooding in northern Luzon.

After receiving images of flooded fields in Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, and Abra, NTA Administrator Robert Victor Seares Jr. issued a command to conduct an assessment of the damage.

According to Seares, the majority of the crops harmed were still in the vegetative stage, with some regions ready to harvest as early as next month.

“We will look into an urgent intervention and long-term help to our farmers based on the assessment from the branches,” he said, “similar to what we have offered them to those afflicted by the freak rain last year.”

According to NTA data, a three-day off-season rain in January 2021 impacted 1,206 hectares of tobacco plantations in tobacco-growing regions, causing crop damage worth PHP77 million.

In addition to the livelihood help provided to over 4,000 impacted farmers through the Gulayan at Manukan sa Barangay project, the agency restructured the production aid provided to them.

“With the consent of the NTA Governing Board, we plan to give an immediate cash support to the impacted farmers,” Seares stated.

The National Federation of Tobacco Farmers Associations and Cooperatives (NAFTAC) called for immediate help on Tuesday.

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