^

Gov’t opening new markets for abaca fiber

(The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The government is facilitating the opening of new markets for abaca fiber and other manufactures to offset the weak demand from traditional markets.

The Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) has entered into negotiations with buyers from France, Spain, Qatar and Russia for the supply of fiber twine, rope, mat and pulp.

FIDA administrator Cecile Soriano said the government is now grooming the abaca industry to be more export-competitive through higher-value processing.

“Not much attention was being given to abaca before but when typhoon Pablo destroyed most crops in Mindanao, abaca plants remained resilient,” she said.

Export earnings from abaca fiber and other manufactures fell 25.1 percent in the first 10 months of the year on lower demand for pulp and raw fiber especially from the United states and Europe.

Exports of raw fiber to Europe fell 19 percent year-on-year while exports of pulp to the US fell 44.9 percent.

Abaca exports from January to October 2012 fell to $91.34 million from $122 million in the same period the prior year.

Ramon Branzuela, chief of planning and statistics division of FIDA, said that to serve the demands of new clients, the government is facilitating the opening of 1,000 hectares of new of abaca production areas.

“There are still vast tracks of land available in Mindanao and Visayas,” he said.

Branzuela noted that in key abaca producing regions, several investors have expressed interest in manufacturing higher-value products from abaca such as monobloc chairs made from abaca biocomposite and abaca yarn for making abaca denim.

The government is also seeking certification for abaca farms from the Rainforest Alliance, a foreign certifying body for sustainable industries, to increase the market value of local abaca manufactures.

Branzuela said local abaca products that are Rainforest Alliance Certified can gain access to more markets and fetch a higher buying price.

ABACA BRANZUELA CECILE SORIANO FIBER FIBER INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY MINDANAO MINDANAO AND VISAYAS QATAR AND RUSSIA RAINFOREST ALLIANCE RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED RAMON BRANZUELA
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with