FOREST vines are abundant in the jungles of the Philippines. As a matter of fact, the country is the second largest world producer of handicrafts.
Vines, specifically forest vines, are one of the least studied non-timber forest products in the country.
Despite its promising use as raw material for handcrafted items, forest vines are among our lesser studied non-timber forest products, which are referred to as “minor forest products.”
While there is an abundant supply of forest vines in the country, we are still experiencing problems on export due to insufficient supply of raw materials and stiff competition from ASEAN counterparts.
These were the result of problems and challenges affecting the local forest vine industry.
The problems and challenges include the inefficient extraction and processing technology, and lack of raw material supply among others.
Because of these, a study titled “Supply Chain Improvement of Commercially Important Forest Vines in Selected Areas in the Philippines” showed that there are three major handicraft production and supply networks in the country.
These are in the Quezon-Batangas-Camarines, Bohol-Cebu, and Aklan.
The major processes along the chain are vine extraction or gathering, handicraft production, vine consolidating, and trading.
The findings were discussed during a recent midterm review, a monitoring and evaluation activity which was conducted by the Socio-Economics Research Division of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
The project, which is expected to culminate by November is expected to complete the supply chain analysis, including identification of activities and processes along the chain; analysis in the flow of product information and payment; determination of the logistic issues (transportation, sourcing of inputs, and packaging); and identification of external influences (i.e., policies and ordinances).
Headed by Carolyn C. Garcia of the Forest Products Research and Development Institute of the DOST, the project aims to provide recommendation for improvement in the supply chain towards efficient and effective production and marketing of forest vines.
Earlier, the DOST-PCAARRD also funded a program dubbed “Philippine Forest Vines for Handicraft and Furniture Industry” to highlight the importance of forest vines in our country.
It was implemented by the DOST- Forest Products Research and Development Institute.
It aimed to utilize non-commercial species of forest vines, promote sustainable management, develop nurseries and demo farms, improve harvesting technologies, and provide recommendations to the handicrafts and furniture industries for improvement in the supply chain.
With the help of the technologies that will be developed, the furniture and handicrafts industries can be efficient and effective in producing raw materials and marketing their products made of forest woody vines.
By utilizing forest vines for the manufacture of various products, farmers and those living in the upland areas can generate additional income and help increase our country’s exports for the handicraft industry.
Although forest vines are mainly used for making handicrafts and furniture, other innovative products may be developed.
These science and technology interventions can provide better opportunities to the various players in the industry. ([email protected]/PN)