A FARMERS’ group in North Cotabato is looking at increased abaca production and scaling up products after recently receiving a new processing and drying facility.
The P300,000 abaca center given to the Perez ARB Rubber Farmers Association of Barangay Perez, Kidapawan City was under the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) Village Level Farm-focused Enterprise Development (VLFED) program.
“The enhancement of our abaca processing center posed a great challenge and inspiration to all the members of the organization and abaca farmers in our community. This shows the sincerity in upscaling abaca production and product innovation in our community,” association President Allan M. Masibay, Sr. said in a statement released by DAR last week.
The VLFED program also covers technical skills and capacity-building training for the farmers, product development, and provision of materials necessary for the construction of processing facilities.
“Through the training, our farmers were already producing and selling abaca by-products such as bags, slippers, placemats, bags, and twines, among others,” DAR Assistant Regional Director Rodolfo T. Alburo said.
The program also entitles the abaca farmers to take part in a P2-million project that will establish more nurseries in the area.
The project, called Environment Responsible Abaca Value Chain to North Cotabato Farmers, is implemented by the World Vision Development Foundation with funding from the government of Singapore. — Ram Christian S. Agustin