Attention: PH abaca industry needs help!
Good news: Abaca demand is growing! Bad news: The local industry isn’t doing so well.
Ma. Isabel Ongpin of the Subcommittee on Fibers of Philippine Council of Agriculture and Fisheries, of the DA, said in a publication for Manila Times that the dwindling situation of abaca industry in the Philippines needs to be addressed.
In a column, entitled “Attention: Secretary of Agriculture, Emmanuel Piñol”, Ongpin explained how the local abaca industry is being overlooked.
“The sad story is that Philippine abaca has not met the demand or answered the challenge or grabbed the opportunity to meet it. It is in an emergency situation for years of neglect or organizational doldrums” she said.
She expounded that abaca poses several uses for modern day products like electronic gadgets, anti-erosion measures in agriculture and road building, for instance.
Abaca prices are also at an all-time high that would provide a great opportunity for farmers, suppliers and processors.
She narrated that upon hearing all the information of the abaca industry crisis in numerous meetings, they have agreed to organize an Abaca Task Force “to wade through the various agencies, the demands from the field, the need to coordinate with the private sector, the activation of the LGUs’ mandate in agriculture for their areas and everything else that is needed to put the abaca industry up to par with current demand.”
“Abaca is a traditional Philippine product. At this point the crying need is for planting materials and more land to plant them on” she added.