The Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA)-Negros Oriental is targeting to expand abaca farming to 100 hectares this year.
With the existing 2,800 hectares planted with abaca in the province, over P20 million have sold to manufacturers or exporters last year, said Provincial Fiber Officer Nena Locsin of FIDA.
Locsin said the province shipped out 4,000 metric tons of high grade and loose abaca fiber to various firms in Mindanao and Luzon.
She said some 3,500 meters of sinamay were sold for P125 per meter to Malolos, Bulacan suppliers and exporters on sinamay packagings, abaca bags, handcrafted among others.
With a huge demand of abaca after super typhoon Yolanda damaged abaca plantations in Leyte-Samar, FIDA officer intends to increase three percent production this year in the province.
To facilitate fast production of abaca, the FIDA will provide 100 units of stripping device to identified abaca farmer-associations in the municipalities of Sibulan, Sta. Catalina, Ayungon, and Tayasan.
The spindle stripping machine is for the extraction of abaca fiber effectively and that farmers will no longer strips the abaca manually, said Locsin.
With this technology, FIDA official said the machine would help some 3,200 abaca farmers to boost production in the province.
She also encouraged famers to plant more abaca while the FIDA is stepping up its training program for the farmers to globally competitive.
Abaca is considered the strongest of natural fibers, three times stronger than cotton are also being used as a major component for food packaging as in tea bags and meat casings, filter papers and cigarettes papers. (rmn/JCT/PIA7-Negros Oriental)