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Northern Samar Abaca Farmers Get New Machinery

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Northern Samar Abaca Farmers Get New Machinery

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Northern Samar’s provincial government on Friday donated PHP5.1 million worth of abaca farm machinery to abaca farmer groups to add value to the fiber that thrives well in the province.

The Centralized Farmers Association of Mondragon town, Luisita Farmers Association of Victoria town, San Isidro Agro-Livestock Association of San Isidro town, Mainland Farmers Producers Cooperative of Laoang town, and the Samahan ng Kababaihan sa Barangay of Lope De Vega town were among the recipients of the donation, which included a hauling truck, bailing machine, a forklift diesel engine, and 10 portable stripping machines.

The provincial government said the machines and equipment are expected to significantly improve the abaca production process, solidifying its status as one of the top priority commodities in Northern Samar.

“This farm equipment will facilitate value-added products, generating more income and investment opportunities for our farmers beyond just abaca hemp,” Provincial Economic Development and Investment Promotions Office (PEDIPO) chief Jhon Allen Berbon said.

PEDIPO has been tasked to develop the potential of value-adding abaca products in the province, such as abaca fiber cloth and more.

The Farm Mechanization Program is anchored on Governor Edwin Ongchuan’s development agenda and designed to empower farmers by providing them with the necessary equipment, knowledge, and skills required to meet the demands of modern agriculture.

The province earlier built an abaca fiber consolidation center that will serve as a drying area, storage, and stripping shed.

Abaca, commonly known as Manila hemp, holds significant economic importance in Northern Samar, being one of the province’s priority commodities.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, 60 percent of the region’s abaca output comes from Northern Samar, with Mondragon and Lope de Vega as the top-producing towns.

Northern Samar is the second-top-producing region in the country, next to Catanduanes. In 2019, the province had a yield of 5.72 metric tons of abaca fiber, according to the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority.

The presence of bunchy top and mosaic virus diseases on Leyte Island in the past decades has prompted the government to focus the planting expansion on Samar provinces. (PNA)