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Philippines to grow abaca fibre in typhoon-stricken areas
02
Jan '14
The Government of Philippines is looking to introduce integrated abaca farming systems in areas ravaged by the super-typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) such as provinces of Samar and Leyte, to boost production of the plant and create livelihood there.
 
The Department of Agriculture (DA) of Philippines is hoping to replicate an abaca integration project named ‘Abakayamanan’, to enhance the industry’s competitiveness globally and provide alternative livelihood to families whose lives have been disrupted due to the typhoon, reports The Manila Times.
 
Under the ‘Abakayamanan’ program, the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) and Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) aims to help farmers in typhoon-affected provinces to bounce back through the use of technology, which combines farming of abaca with other crops like coconut
 
Editha Lomerio, head of the project Abakayamanan, said that even prior to the disruption caused by Yolanda, Leyte and Samar provinces were regions with highest production of abaca in the country.
 
According to Ms. Lomerio, BAR applies a holistic approach in abaca production through Abakayamanan, as it is a food security source, and also a zero waste crop.
 
The Abakayamanan project was initially implemented as a pilot project in areas of San Roque, Maliliput, Albay and Gubat, and Sorsogon, with a funding of Philippines Peso 1.8 million by the BAR, which has raised farmers’ income in the areas by 14,400 pesos per 1,000 sq mts.
 
With the success achieved in the areas, BAR director Nicomedas Eleazar said the bureau is now pushing for wider implementation of the project in other abaca-producing provinces of the country.
 
Mr. Eleazar said that the replication of the Abakayaman project in Leyte and Samar will enhance the marketing of quality abaca manufacturing in the Philippines especially in light of a certification for sustainable forest management from the Rainforest Alliance obtained by manufacturers of abaca in the country.
 
The Philippines is considered one of the world’s biggest suppliers of abaca products, exporting abaca pulp, fiber and other products mainly to the US, Europe and Japan.
 
According to Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), Philippines' abaca output was 35,060 tons in the first half of 2013, registering a decline of 5.5 percent compared to 37,120 tons recorded during the same period of previous year.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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