KALIBO, Aklan – The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) urged abaca farmers in this province to produce high-grade abaca fibers due to its increasing demand.
PhilFIDA Executive Director Kennedy Costales said the P7-billion Philippine abaca fiber industry has helped boost the country’s economy from its 97-percent export earnings.
During the Abaca Industry Economic Operators’ Forum at the tourism and training center here, Costales encouraged farmers to produce high grade or first class abaca fibers, following reports that the abaca fibers produced in the province are “low grade.”
According to him, this was due to the inferior blades used by farmers when extracting the fibers.
Meanwhile, he also shared the “Abaca Tuxy Buying Special Project,” market trends and opportunities or threats to the industry.
The project, he said, aims to improve the take home pay of abaca farmers by two-fold to almost three-fold net of government obligations by organizing themselves into a cooperative of about 100 to 350 members or more.
According to PhilFIDA, Aklan ranked 9th among the country’s top abaca-producing provinces from Jan. to Nov. 2018.
The abaca-producing towns in the province include Libacao, Madalag, Balete, Ibajay, Malinao, Makato, Banga, and Altavas – with Libacao having the highest production.
The production of low grade abaca fibers was among the current woes in the industry, which might affect its status as the top global abaca trader, supplying about 87.4 percent of the world’s abaca fiber requirements.(With a report from PIA/PN)