Tobacco dust cited as safer water pollutant than chemical pesticides

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Tobacco dust was cited as a safer water pollutant in ponds than chemical pesticides.

It is not only an efficient organic molluscicide in fishponds but also environment-friendly, more economical, and practical for pond sterilization.


DIRECTOR Danilo C. Trongco, a member of the NTA Governing Board, discusses the benefits of Tobacco Dust Plus in his 2.8-hectare inland fishery farm in Barangay Nagtupacan, Lagangilang, Abra during the 56th Fishery Industry Forum at the J & V Hotel and Resort, Barangay Sevilla, San Fernando City, La Union recently. (NTA FB)

Danilo C. Trongco, an outstanding freshwater inland fish farmer who owns a 2.8-hectare fishery farm in Barangay Nagtupacan, Lagangilang, Abra, announced this breakthrough in other uses for tobacco during the recent 56th Fishery Industry Forum at the J & V Hotel and Resort, Barangay Sevilla, San Fernando City, La Union.

Trongco said that tobacco dust is an excellent replacement for the highly toxic, cyanide-based chemicals in pond poisoning or sterilization of fishponds before fingerlings’ stocking.

“The use of chemicals in pond poisoning is not safe to the environment because its toxicity will splash away through the outlets during pond washing that eventually harm the natural habitat of the water resources downstream,” he said.

“Unlike when I used the Tobacco Dust Plus (TD Plus), my fishponds were efficiently sterilized without side effects to the water sources,” he added.

The TD Plus is a product developed through research by the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) for other uses of tobacco.

In his comparative trial sampling, Trongco said he raised 50,000 tilapia fingerlings with the use of TD Plus in his one-hectare fishpond and another 50,000 fingerlings in his other one-hectare fishpond with chemicals as water pollutant for pond poisoning.

He said that during the culture period, tilapia in fishponds treated with TD Plus took four months to grow before harvest. On the other hand, tilapia in fishponds treated with chemicals took 5.5 to grow before harvesting.

Both fishponds produced 11,250 kilograms of tilapia sold at P170 per kilo with a total gross sale of P1,912,500.

Trongco earned a 45 percent or P593,810 net income from the fishponds treated with TD Plus compared to the 25 percent or P389,025 net income from the fishponds treated with chemicals.

“I have a higher net income from fishponds treated with TD Plus due to my lesser production cost as compared to the cost of production in the chemically-treated fishponds during the trial sampling period,” he said.


He spent fewer for commercial feeds in the ponds treated with TD Plus due to the conversion of the tobacco dust as organic feeds for the growing tilapia within 20 days after stocking.

In the chemically treated fishponds, he used commercial feeds for feeding upon tilapia stocking.

“The tobacco dust serves as an organic fertilizer to promote the growth of ‘lablab’ or algae – a natural fish food, and a soil conditioner,” he said. “The tobacco dust is organic and readily degradable, and environment-friendly. The absence of pesticide residues contributes to the marketability of the tilapia fish and it ensures consumer safety, aside from being free from chemical residues,” he added.

Trongco, a member of the Governing Board of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA), affirmed that the TD Plus produced by the NTA Tobacco Dust Processing Plant (TDPP) is an efficient bio-toxicant cum lab-lab growth enhancer in the fishpond.

Tobacco dust is an organic and natural insecticide due to its nicotine content that decimates snails, predators, and other harmful creatures inhabiting the fishponds and fish cages.

The NTA-TDPP has at least 1,000 bags of TD Plus at 25 kilograms per bag available for sale to fish farmers at present. These are available at the TDPP warehouse in Barangay Fernando, Santo Tomas, La Union.

Senior Tobacco Production and Regulation Officer Christopher R. Supang, officer-in-charge of the NTA-TDPP, disclosed that at least 100 metric tons of tobacco wastes from Universal Leaf Philippines Inc. (ULPI) are in the process of TD Plus production.