Abaca: Producers

The world's leading abaca producer is the Philippines, where the plant is cultivated on 130 000 ha by some 90 000 small farmers.

Abaca, CatanduanesWhile the crop is also cultivated in other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines' closest rival is Ecuador, where abaca is grown on large estates and production is increasingly mechanized.

Production and trade

abaca farmersIn 2007, the Philippines produced about 60 000 tonnes of abaca fibre, while Ecuador produced 10 000 tonnes. World production is valued at around $30 million a year.

Almost all abaca produced is exported, mainly to Europe, Japan and the USA. Exports from the Philippines are increasingly in the form of pulp rather than raw fibre.

Source: IYNF-2009@fao.org

  • Abaca: Natural Fiber - Once a favoured source of rope for ship's rigging, abaca shows promise as an energy-saving replacement for glass fibres in automobiles.
  • International Year of Natural Fibres, 2009 - Resolution 3/2005 of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, adopted on 25 November 2005.