The provincial government of Philippine has tapped the assistance of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) a non-government organization that represents the German government in development cooperation all over the world to revive the abaca industry of Negros Occidental.
Last month, the Provincial Government sent a letter to the agency after one of its personnel manifested GIZâ€™s willingness to assist the abaca development project in the province.
Engr. Jose Maria Amugod, provincial project development officer III, said that the foreign NGO has yet to assess specific areas where they can intervene whether in plantation expansion, product quality improvement, or marketing mainly through exportation.
Amugod said that they are still waiting for the response of GIZ to their letter, if the agency gives a positive response, they might bring in technologies and expertise to further increase raw material production.
Upon ensuring the supply, GIZ might also buy the raw material, mainly fiber, or link the product to potential markets outside the country.
Based on the mapping of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), there is currently a minimal plantation of abaca in Negros Occidental, particularly in cities of San Carlos, Himamaylan and Kabankalan.
The Provincial Government before has attempted to diversify the local abaca industry, but failed thus, it is trying to revive it now due to the industryâ€™s growing potential especially in the textile sector.
There is now a huge demand for abaca both for domestic and exports so the market is not a problem, only the supply.
Moreover, another strategy that the province is working on is the crafting of the Abaca Development Plan.
Governor Alfredo MaraÃ±on Jr. had earlier said that reviving the abaca fiber industry will also complement the local silk industry as well as to the provinceâ€™s Bamboo Development Plan.
The province is now proposing a funding availment for the development of abaca industry through the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).
Amugod said that reviving abaca industry will greatly impact the local economy especially in terms of providing livelihood, employment, and income opportunities to many Negrenses. The province has already lined-up the promotion of abaca as one of the provinceâ€™s major commodities.
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