Abaca farming is one of the major livelihood activities in six barangays of Patnongon namely Gella 2, Aureliana, Villa Elio, Villa Salomon, Tigbalogo and Igburi. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is keen on upgrading the abaca fiber production as more than 72 hectares of land are planted with abaca in the said areas and about 50 farmers are engaged in abaca processing.
DOST would like to upgrade abaca fiber production mainly to meet the increasing market demand of abaca fiber and at the same time boost the income of farmers.
DOST in partnership with Fiber Institute Development Authority or FIDA, has released the total amount of P270,000 funding assistance for the purchase of a stripping device while LGU Patnongon provided the counterpart of P15,000.
Engr. Eleazar Moscoso of the Department of DOST-Antique said that these farmers are given one stripping machine/device each, a one of kind in the country designed by Rafael Cordero, a local fabricator/inventor.
The device is equipped with features that are user-friendly and gender sensitive, portable and can be brought on-site or any location where stripping may be conducted.
According to Moscoso, upgrading of abaca production in Patnongon is expected to yield 28.8 tons per year. Abaca fiber serves varied purposes such as raw materials for ropes, handicrafts, furniture and other industrial purposes.
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