|Agri Chief challenges fiber industry to keep Philippines ’ foothold in global trade|
|Written by DA-AFID|
|Tuesday, 23 June 2015 23:42|
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala is calling all fiber industry stakeholders and players to take active action and keep the Philippines’ foothold in the global fiber trade.
“Due to the increasing demand for our local fibers, the country must maintain our dominant status in the foreign market,” said the Agri Chief.
In 2014, the Philippines exported more than $111 million of abaca and more than $123 million of other fibers.
The country’s fiber industry experienced an 18% production increase last year reaching 66,004 MT from 55,958 MT in 2013.
“The Philippines figures prominently in global abaca trade supplying more than 87% of the world’s overall fiber requirement,” Sec. Alcala said.
Despite this, the 90,000 MT abaca pulp total production requirement for 2014 has not been met.
Sec. Alcala directed the players to sustain demand for other fibers like ramie, pinya (pineapple), salago, buntal, silk, banana, and cotton.
“Kaya nga malaking hamon ito sa ating lahat. We need to ensure that farmers earn a decent income in planting fibers,” he added.
The Agri Chief also called for improving prevention of diseases which destroys fiber production, and also for the farmers to maximize their productivity and income.
He also asked fiber farmers to look at expansion and enhancement of cultural practices so they could benefit from farm sustainability certification and Good Agricultural Practices or GAP certification.
Research and development efforts must be responsive the smallholder farmers’ need and must be geared towards improving farm productivity. Sec. Alcala urged PhilFIDA to ensure that the five tissue culture laboratories all over the country are fully operational for the benefit of fiber crop farmers.
The Philippine Fiber Development Authority (DA-PhilFIDA) is the agency under the Department of Agriculture mandated to develop the country’s fiber industry while uplifting the lives of fiber-producing farmers.
DA-PhilFIDA celebrated its second anniversary in its head office in Quezon City last 10 June 2015. Under the government rationalization program, the agency merged two defunct agencies -the Cotton Development Administration (CODA) and the Fiber Development Authority (FIDA).
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 23:43|