By Irma A. Guhit
SORSOGON CITY, NOVEMBER 25 (PIA) ……The Fiber Development Authority (FIDA) in close tandem with the local government of Irosin has launched yesterday the Abaca Disease Management Project cum Training at the Patag Eco Park with 80 participants in attendance from its several identified abaca potential producing barangays.
Irosin municipal mayor Eduardo F. Ong, Jr in his message said that the local government of Irosin has seen best opportunity in the abaca as an industry in their locality, it being one of the best plants that can be propagated in their town given the topography, land classification and weather conditions within the areas identified as planting sites based on FIDA’s assessment.
Mr. Daniel L. Lachica, FIDA Development Officer here in the province said that the training was more on the identification of the “three deadly trio” disease of abaca namely; Bunchy Top, Bract Mosaic, and Abaca Mosaic and how can these be treated, controlled and finally eradicated given the new technologies discovered by FIDA and the opportunity for its massive plantation in the town of Irosin.
Dr. Editha O. Lomero, Ph.D., Regional Director-officer in charge, RO V said that one of the Bicol Region’s best product is abaca fiber and has been one of the best exports of the Philippines before known as Manila Hemp.
The province of Sorsogon according to her has been one of the biggest suppliers of abaca fiber of good quality and since the time that abaca was affected with these three diseases, abaca production here has deteriorated.
The current administration under President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino according to her has pushed to revitalize and rehabilitate certain endemic industries within specific regions and here in Sorsogon, Irosin town has been for the past years one of the volume quality suppliers of hemp.
According to Lomero here in Bicol, abaca has been found out to be one of the region's viable economic export industry, its raw materials needed for bags, home decors and even clothing materials. And now based on the global market needs to the shift to more environmentally friendly products abaca has been recommended.
The farmers yesterday during the training were taught on the disease identification, application of chemicals and the right monitoring on how the abaca plant can be cultivated again to become an economic base of people in the countryside as major livelihood source.
FIDA will also provide job order for personnel who will conduct and assist in the treatment according to Lachica and these will be the abaca propagators themselves who will be tapped.
Mayor Ong has forged commitment with FIDA to start the project and initial funding to the barangays of Bagsangan, Mapaso, Bolos, Carriedo, Cogon, Santo Domingo, Monbon , Cawayan and Patag and will soon be provided. (PIA-SORSOGON)