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Japanese firm evaluating possible new applications for Philippine banana fiber

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PHILSTAR

THE Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) said it will deliver a trial shipment of banana fiber to a Japanese company looking to order as much as 2,000 metric tons from the Philippines.

It said the trial shipment is 10 kilos and will be evaluated at the company’s facilities.

“The 10 kilos of banana fiber they requested from Region 10 will be sent within the month for lab tests/research,” PhilFIDA Executive Director Kennedy T. Costales said in a text message on Thursday.

According to Mr. Costales, the company, which he did not identify, is looking for a lighter fiber for various applications including papermaking.

He said the company has expressed interest in a possible volume order of 2,000 MT of banana fiber. The prevailing prices for fiber are about P50-P70 per kilo.

Mr. Costales, in a Facebook post, said the country has the capacity for servicing any new banana fiber applications because it is home to many banana varieties, which are known by their market names of saba, lacatan, latundan, bungulan, Cavendish, morada, pitog Los Baños, señorita, tindok, gloria, ganda and tumok.

“The country has nearly 447,000 hectares of land under banana plantations, majority of which is in Northern Mindanao, North and South Cotabato, Bukidnon, and the Bicol region. This can generate 307,000 tons of banana fiber or an average of 686.80 kilos per hectare per year,” according to Mr. Costales. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio