BY: CHERRY JOY S. DISCAYA
LAOAG CITY – Tobacco farmers here have started using an eco-friendly method in curing tobacco leaves, a technology that the National Tobacco Administration promotes in place of the traditional method.
The equipment called gasifier makes use of rice hull, which is readily available as by-product of rice millers, and is said to produce heat quickly compared to the old method of using firewood to cure leaves in the tobacco furnace.
Mario Corpuz, of NTA, said the gasifier is an effective way of cooking the tobacco without producing hazardous smoke that destroys the environment.
“Instead of cutting woods, farmers can use rice hull which are easier to collect,” Copruz said.
The provincial government distributed the equipment during the “Manang Imee’s Capitol Express” caravan to tobacco farmers in the towns of Pinili, Badoc, Vintar and Batac City.
Receiving the tobacco equipment were Ambrocio Pungtilan of Batac City, Buenaventura Islar Jr. of Pinili, Alejandro Aurellano of Badoc and Gaspar Aguinaldo of Vintar.
Pungtilan said the new technology came at a time when firewood had become scarce which made tobacco drying more difficult.
“Fuel wood has become hard to gather. We also expect more difficulty in drying tobacco with the onset of the rainy season,” he said. (MCA/CDG,PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)