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Davao Oriental partners with PhilFIDA for abaca industry development

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THE DAVAO Oriental provincial government has partnered with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) for the development of the abaca industry, focusing on the four top-producing towns. In a press statement released over the weekend, the provincial government said the partnership is prioritizing the towns of Manay, Baganga, Caraga and Cateel for the sustainable abaca disease management program. “As of now we are on one direction with the provincial government to address all problems (that the industry is facing) because abaca is an important commodity in Davao Oriental where there are several farmers depending on it,” PhilFIDA Regional Director Eduardo B. Holoyohoy is quoted in the statement. Mr. Holoyohoy said the partnership is also addressing limitations in product marketing and lack of post-harvest facilities. The program will initially cover about 450 hectares of abaca farms this year. Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang said the provincial government will provide more funding next year as it plans to expand the program to other areas. “Davao Oriental is among the biggest producers of abaca in the country, so we need to have a comprehensive plan to develop the industry,” said Mr. Dayanghirang. Based on provincial data, production stood at 7,300 metric tons in 2016. — Carmelito Q. Francisco