July 23rd, 2012
by: Mary Lailani Tupaz
NAVAL, Biliran – To meet the demand of the international market for abaca or Manila hemp and to help farmers augment their family income, acting Biliran Provincial Fiber Officer Joseph Salas urged all abaca farmers in the province to plant high grade abaca instead of the low grade ones.
The previously accepted low grade abaca for Japan market dropped its demand while Europe maintains its demands for high grade abace. Thus, the need for more production of high grade abaca.
In June 4-5, this year, four abaca farmers and legislators from the municipality of Almeria attended the stakeholders meeting in Sogod, Southern Leyte, to gather more information among farmers and manufacturers regarding production and marketing demands for high grade abaca in the industry.
FIDA-Biliran, through Salas, committed to provide 5,000 tissue-cultured high yielding variety from Abuyog, Leyte. Some 500 seedlings are currently grown at FIDA provincial field office at the capitol compound for distribution to farmers in December, this year.
Aside from the high yielding species, FIDA-Biliran recently provided 70 pieces of stripping knives to abaca farmers from Barangays Caucab and Sampao in the municipality of Almeria; Caanibongan, Cabucgayan; Calipayan, Culaba; Ungale, Kawayan; and Barangays Capiñahan, Libtong, and Villaconsuelo in the capital town of Naval.
Naval remains to be the main producer of abaca in the province of Biliran with its 400 hectares allocated for abaca farming in 2010.
In 2011, the province of Biliran was able to produce a total of 1,800 kilos of good and clean abaca.
Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) provides support to abaca farmers in the Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) areas. # (PIA Biliran)
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