Filipino region seeks govt aid for abaca fibre production

April 28, 2014 - Philippines

The Philippine region of Zamboanga Peninsula is in urgent need of assistance from the Government to increase abaca fibre production in order to revive its abaca fibre industry, said Deogracias V. Maranga, assistant regional director of Philippine Fibre Industry Development Authority (PHILFIDA-9), the Zamboanga regional representative of Fibre Industry Development Authority (FIDA) of Philippines.

According to the PHILFIDA-9 official, the abaca fibre industry hasn’t been doing well in the region, specifically abaca fibre prodution, with production declining from 644.86 metric tons (MT) in 2012, to 529.66 MT last year, reports Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Mr. Maranga informed that the PHILFIDA-9 has been encouraging expansion of abaca farms in the region with the aim of increasing production of abaca fibre in the region to meet the market demand.

The PHILFIDA-9 official explained that the FIDA has given a target of 100 hectares for the regional Abaca Farm Expansion Program this year.

However, in addition to the given target, PHILFIDA-9 is aiming at 1,000 hectares for abaca farm expansion in the region, under the Small And Medium Enterprise (SME) Abaca Industry Champion Product Development Program, he added.

In order to implement the abaca fibre development in the region, PHILFIDA-9 is also conducting grading and classification of abaca in order to ensure quality abaca fibre produced in the region, Mr. Maranga informed.

The Philippines is the world’s biggest suppliers of abaca products, exporting abaca pulp, fiber and other products mainly to the US, Europe and Japan.

Earlier this year, the Government of Philippines introduced the ‘Abakayamanan’ program in the Philippines, to develop integrated abaca farming systems in areas ravaged by the super-typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), to increase production of abaca in the country.

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.