VIGAN CITY, Jan 17 (PIA) — A multi–million food-processing facility is expected to open in Barangay Nanguneg, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur within this quarter, according the Administrator Edgar D. Zaragoza of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA).
The food facility, which has initial budget of P165 million for its construction, is realized through the Agri –Pinoy Program of President Aquino in connection with his development plan for agribusiness creating other livelihood for tobacco farmers.
Zaragoza said the food facility has the equipment to process vegetables and meat like beef, pork, and chicken to meet the quality demand in the domestic and the world markets.
“The raw materials will come from the tobacco farmers with negotiable prices who will engage in swine, poultry, and vegetable production in Ilocos Sur and other Virginia tobacco-producing provinces,” he said.
“We are also looking for the provision of sufficient capital assistance for our tobacco farmers who wish to venture in swine, poultry and vegetable raising, to sustain the requirement for the continuing operation of our food facility once it would be in full operation,” he added.
According to Zaragoza, the operation and management of the food facility will be handled by the NTA with the newly-recruited technical graduates from the technical colleges and university as initial work force.
“The facility will not only establish a ready market to the farmers’ meat and vegetables produced but also to create job opportunities to the children of tobacco farmers.
He said the recruitment process of employees for the food processing plant will be given preference to tobacco farmers’ children, who are graduates of agri-technology and allied courses.
To expand the program of the processing plant, Zaragoza is also looking for the construction of rice mill and feed mill in the site to cater the rice and corn produced by the tobacco farmers. (ANL/FGL-PIA 1, Ilocos Sur)