Jalaur, Philfida team up for abaca fiber extraction training
Calinog, Iloilo - The Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) and Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority ( PhilFIDA) conduct training on abaca fiber extraction on May 10-12, 2017.
The two- day training was held at Supanga Elementary School and was attended by abaca farmers from barangays Aglonok, Caratagan, Hilwan, Marandig and Supanga.
Abaca ( Musa textilis Nee) is a member of the banana family, Musaceae. It is popularly known worldwide as Manila hemp and already being woven in different parts of the Philippines.
Although the resemblance of the abaca to banana is close, there are minor differences. Abaca stalks are more slender and leaves are smaller, narrower and more pointed than those of the banana.
In Calinog, abaca can be found particularly in upland barangays. In support to the booming abaca industry of the area, the training aims to teach farmers on how to properly extract abaca fibers.
Antonio Castronuevo, Technical Assistance Unit Head of PhilFIDA, thanked the participants for coming despite the distance they have to trek.
“PhilFIDA is committed to conduct three trainings which we started last year,” Castronuevo said.
He added that the previous training on Abaca Production Technology attended by 30 farmers was focused on productivity enhancing measures.
“What is next to abaca after planting and harvesting is the extraction. So, the PhilFIDA will train you on fiber extraction and teach you on how to determine the classifications of abaca fiber,” Castronuevo added.
He encouraged farmers that every time they sell their fiber in Iloilo City, they have to mention that it is from Calinog because the agency is monitoring the abaca fiber production in the Province of Iloilo.
By recording, PhilFIDA can address the possible problems encountered by abaca farmers in Calinog.
He also shared that in Libacao, Aklan, the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) granted abaca farmers a project which is worth millions of pesos. This will also happen in Calinog later on.
The training for abaca production is part of the commitments to five (5) barangays of Calinog, namely Aglonok, Marandig, Caratagan, Supanga and Hilwan during the conduct of the Free Prior and Informed Consent I (FPIC I).
An Inter-agency Convergence was established to respond the various requests of directly and indirectly Project Affected Families (PAF).
One of the partner agencies committed to provide livelihood development programs related to abaca production is the PhilFIDA. Through the Inter-Agency Convergence, they will provide Php 100,000.00 worth of livelihood development projects. With the help of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), abaca farmers were identified within the project affected areas.
Richard J amelo, Senior I nstitutional Development Officer (Senior IDO), said that NIA has no capacity to conduct such training so they tapped PhilFIDA for the delivery of the said commitment. He added that these trainings are for additional livelihood of the affected families.
Jamelo also expressed appreciation for everyone’s participation in the said endeavour.
Moreover, he informed the participants that an abaca nursery will be constructed in Barangay Supanga which will supply abaca stalks to the farmers.
During the training, Camote cuttings (species SP sweet potatoes 30) and vegetable seeds were distributed to farmers.
Lina Araneta, one of the female trainees, thanked PhilFIDA and NIA for the training opportunity.
“Daku gid amon pasalamat sa inyo kay ini nga training natigayon. Ini makabulig gid sa amon pangabuhi-an.” ( We are very thankful to you for conducting this training. This will help us in our livelihood), Araneta stressed.
She added that they are happy for the realization of the training because they personally asked for it from PhilFIDA. What they learned during the training will also be shared to their villagers.
After the training, balang- balang ( stripper knives) were distributed./