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Philippines to boost abaca fibre production in Antique
30
Jan '14
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Government of Philippines, is upgrading abaca fibre production in Patnongon, a town in Antique province of the Western Visayas region, reports Philippine Information Agency.
 
In collaboration with Fibre Institute Development Authority (FIDA), DOST has released a sum of P270,000 for purchase of abaca fibre stripping machines, while Local Government Unit (LGU) of Patnongon has provided another P15,000.
 
According to Eleazar Moscoso from DOST-Antique, abaca farming is one of the major livelihood activities in six barangays (the smallest administrative divisions in the Philippines) of Patnongon, viz. Gella 2, Aureliana, Villa Elio, Villa Salomon, Tigbalogo and Igburi.
 
Over 72 hectares of land is planted with abaca in these six barangays and about 50 farmers are engaged in abaca processing. Under the DOST initiative, these farmers were given one abaca fibre stripping machine each. The machine has been designed by local inventor Rafael Cordero, Moscoso informed.
 
The stripping machine has user-friendly features, is gender sensitive and portable in the sense that it can be easily transported to any location where stripping needs to be conducted.
 
DOST hopes that the upgradation of abaca production would help Patnongon farmers meet the increasing market demand of abaca fibre and boost their income.
 
The use of stripping machines is expected to increase abaa production in Patnongon to 28.8 tons per year.
 
Abaca fibre is used as a raw material for making ropes, mats and clothing, among other things.
 
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 declined by 5.5 percent year-on-year to 35,060 tons, during the first half of 2013.
 
In 2012, Philippines earned US$ 108 million from abaca exports, showing a decrease of 22.86 percent year-on-year.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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