“The government is ready to help sustain and strengthen the fiber industry.” This was the declaration made by Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala in the recent “Usapang Hibla with Secretary Alcala” at El Cielito Inn in Makati City.
Hosted by the Marketing Division of the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA), the forum provided the key players in the fiber industry a chance to interact with Secretary Alcala and to know what the Department’s plans are for the fiber industry.
In his opening remarks, Secretary Alcala announced that he intends to bring the Department closer to the farmers. He enjoined everyone to come forward and voice out their suggestions and ideas that would help the industry especially the farmers. The Agriculture chief assured the group that funds may be allocated for suggested programs. “Tell us what you need and we will try to match what you need”, Secretary Alcala said.
He also directed FIDA administrator Cecilia Gloria J. Soriano to:
- Prepare, in consultation with the private sector including Philmech and fashion designers, the Abaca Roadmap (2012-2016) which will discuss the production of seedlings to the promotion of finished products;
- Re-evaluate the industry, understand the economic situation of farmers and their capabilities in sustaining abaca production;
- Conduct regular dialogue with the private sector for the continuous exchange of ideas, technology and products;
- Regularly update the Secretary and submit reports on the programs and projects discussed in the meeting; and,
- Refer all problems of the industry to the Office of the Agriculture Secretar
Present in the forum are representatives of the fiber exporters, cordage millers, pulp manufacturers, farmers and fibercraft processors.