KALIBO, Aklan, Nov. 18 (PIA6) -- The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) called on Aklan abaca farmers to produce high-grade abaca fibers as these have a high market demand now and could command a good price.
This call was issued by PhilFIDA Executive Director Kennedy Costales during the Abaca Industry Economic Operators' Forum held recently at the Aklan Tourism and Training Center in Old Buswang, Kalibo town, which was attended by farmers of Aklan's abaca-producing towns.
Some abaca farmers from Jamindan, Capiz also attended the activity.
Costales revealed that Aklan ranks 9th among the country's top abaca-producing provinces per the PhilFIDA's record from January to November 2018, contributing 3.52 percent.
Abaca-producing towns in Aklan include Libacao, Madalag, Balete, Ibajay, Malinao, Makato, Banga and Altavas, with Libacao having the highest production.
The call of Costales for Aklan farmers to produce high grade or first class abaca fibers is a result of the observance of the PhilFIDA here and even of abaca traders that fibers produced in Aklan presently are low grade.
The PhilFIDA said the production of low grade abaca here prevails due to inferior blades used by farmers when extracting fiber, and the presence of traders/buyers who patronize the products and buy "all-in" or all types of abaca fibers.
He urged the farmers to shift to the production of first class abaca fibers because time will come when there will be no longer buyers of low-grade abaca.
The production of low grade abaca fibers is among the current woes, issues and concerns prevailing in the industry of abaca, which might affect its status as the top global abaca trader, supplying about 87.4 percent of the world's abaca fiber requirements.
Costales shared that the Philippine abaca fiber industry is now a P7-billion industry which helped boost the country's economy from its 97 percent export earnings.
At the forum, he also talked on "Abaca Tuxy Buying Special Project," Market Trends, Opportunities/Threats of the Abaca Industry to encourage farmers to earn better from abaca and at the same time to produce high-quality fibers.
The project, according to him, aims to improve the take home pay of abaca famers by two-fold to almost three-fold net of government obligations by organizing themselves into a cooperative of about 100 to 350 members or more. (JBG/VGV/PIA6 Aklan)