Ja­panese firm eval­u­at­ing pos­si­ble new ap­pli­ca­tions for Philip­pine banana fiber

Business World - - The Economy - Re­ice­lene Joy N. Ig­na­cio

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. —

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