Bworldonline.com 15 August 2011 L.G. Dumas / Correspondent
Iligan aims to be major abaca source
Iligan--This city aims to become a major abacaproducer in Northern Mindanao by 2012, with an additional 628 hectares of plantations this year, an official statement read.
The new plantations are spread over 18 barangays, the largest of which are in Rogongon, Lanipao, Mainit, Dulag and Panorogan.
The Iligan City government said it produced 194 tons of fiber from 233 hectares of abaca plantations as of june, with 159 hectares yet to be harvested.
With the additional hectarage, the city should produce about 2,000 tons of fiber.
Bureau of Agricultural Statistics data showed that Iligan City produced less than 40 tons of abaca fiber in 2008, just 0.025% of the entire region's 1,600 tons recorded that year.
Bukidnon was the largest producer of abaca in Northern Mindanao that year, accounting for over 80% of the region's total.
In line with the 2012 objective, a farmers' field school for abaca was launched last July 27 in Barangay Abuno by the Iligan Abaca Multipurpose Cooperative.
By the end of this month, atleast 30 farmers in this city should have been trained for three months on abaca production--from seed preparation to the operation of post-harvest facilities. The training is being conducted by staff from the Fiber Industry Development Authority under the supervision of the Iligan city council's committee on agriculture.
Abaca fiber was among Northern Mindanao's major exports in the first quarter, said Alicia V. Euseña, regional chief of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Aside from exports, the region also has a thriving abaca-based handicraft industry, she added.
Bukidnon localities have abaca-based products as the focus of their One Town-One Product program. In Malaybalay City alone, there are atleast seven abaca-based handicraft producers.