Catanduanes Remains Top Abaca-Producing Province - BM

Abaca-fiber production in the country’s top abaca-producing province from January to May 2009 went up by 22 percent to 8,646.32 metric tons (MT), said the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA).

FIDA noted that in January to May 2008, abaca farmers in Catanduanes produced 7,084.23 MT.

The attached agency of the Department of Agriculture said a total of 16,231 farmers were involved in abaca production in the province in 2008.

FIDA said the island province of Catanduanes is renowned as the “abaca capital of the Philippines.” The province is now the top producer of abaca fiber, has the largest area planted to abaca and has the biggest number of abaca farmer-producers in the Philippines.

Joining Catanduanes as the country’s top 10 abaca-producing provinces are Southern Leyte, Leyte, Davao Oriental, Northern Samar, Davao del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Samar, Sulu and Sorsogon.

FIDA said the province also adjusted its production for the year due to the projected slowdown in demand for abaca fiber in overseas markets.

Earlier, FIDA revealed that export earnings from abaca fiber and abaca products are projected to decline by 20 percent to $80 million in 2009 due to slower demand caused by the global financial crisis.

FIDA said the recession in the United States has caused demand for abaca products to slow down. The US is one of Manila’s major markets for abaca products.

Source: Business Mirror

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