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Abaca farmers to get boost from PhilFIDA project–Sarmiento

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A project that would benefit some 3,000 abaca farmers across 11 municipalities in Catanduanes is currently in the works.

The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) through the prodding of Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento has proposed the Catanduanes Abaca Productivity Enhancement Project (CAPE).

Sarmiento said that CAPE would serve as a P22-million boost for local abaca farmers.

Under the project, at least 1,440,000 abaca suckers or seeds in 3,000 hectares of land are expected to be replanted as part of the rehabilitation of abaca lands.

This is on top of the 640,000 new abaca suckers that would be planted.

In addition to new crops, new stripping devices shall be also distributed to ensure high quality abaca production. Some 500 standardized abaca stripping knives and 100 improved hand stripping devices shall be distributed.

The CAPE project also includes a focus on abaca disease elimination using the stick method as part of the “Plant healthy abaca for P5.00” scheme. This means the crops should be certified as disease-free by PhilFIDA.

All these activities will be monitored and coordinated by the PhilFIDA and the Catanduanes Local Government Units.

Sarmiento had earlier boasted of the Philippines’ status as world leader in abaca production, accounting for a whopping 87 percent of the total global output in 2015.

From that figure, at least 35 percent came from the Bicol region.