Abaca project in Leyte expands
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said towns in the provinces of Southern Leyte, Leyte, Biliran, and the Samar Island Provinces who would like to revive their Abaca Industry could now establish their own nurseries as planting materials are now available.
This, according to Piñol, was made available through the efforts of the Philippine Fiber Development Authority (PHILFIDA).
“The planting materials of the Inusa Variety of Abaca which thrives well in the Eastern Visayas Region will come from the over 700-hectares of rehabilitated farms in Sogod, Southern Leyte which were developed right after I assumed office as Secretary of Agriculture in 2016,” Piñol said.
The Department of Agriculture (DA), through PHILFIDA, entered into a memorandum of agreement with the municipality of Sogod under Mayor Emie Tan as early as July 2016 for the rehabilitation of the Abaca Farms ravaged by diseases and poor farm management.
The DA initially released P50 million which was used to acquire healthy planting materials and rehabilitate existing farms to produce additional planting materials for an expansion program.
Abaca, which produces the world’s strongest natural fiber, is endemic to the Philippines but over the years, the industry was neglected because of poor farm management and diseases.
According to the PHILFIDA, the Abaca shortage now is about 60,000 metric tons every year and to fill this demand, farmers need to plant an additional 90,000 hectares.