Piñol to turn over P100M abaca support fund soon
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has scheduled another visit to Sogod, Southern Leyte before the end of the month to turn over P100 million for the abaca industry support fund.
“The revival of the Abaca industry is expected to earn an estimated P12-B a year for the country which is known as natural home of this plant which has given the world the strongest natural fiber,” Piñol said.
The agri chief will be returning to Sogod on August 26, his third visit to the province in three months.
Piñol said the money will be used to establish a nursery with healthy planting materials using the abaca variety known as Inusa, with planting materials bought from farms that have kept their crops free of diseases.
The abaca industry collapsed after it was stricken by the so-called bunchy top disease that stunted the growth of the plant that is endemic to the country. People from Southern Leyte, Bicol, and Samar have been seeking the support of government to rehabilitate the industry for years.
Piñol said healthy planting materials will be distributed to other farmers next year, with government planning to expand the area planted to abaca to 90,000 hectares by the end of the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Piñol has also engaged a group of experts from Mindanao to assist in educating farmers on how to manage their farms.