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PIA Press Release

FIDA assures farmers abaca disease-free planting materials

By Erna S. Gorne

Southern Leyte (30 October) -- As soon as tissue culture center in Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) shall be established, worries over the availability of bunchy top-free planting materials shall be a thing of the past, Fiber Industry Development Authority Provincial Director Natividad Bandibas disclosed recently.

Local farmers here have reservations on the availability of abaca planting materials once eradication of contaminated abaca plantations shall have ended, Bandibas said during the interview with PIA recently.

She further disclosed that SLSU will only attend to the completion of the requirements of a diagnostic laboratory then production of planting materials thru tissue culture shall be able to address such impending need in the near future. Diagnostic laboratory will determine the veracity of healthy abaca plant before they are released for farmer's use.

Aside from upcoming tissue culture center in SLSU, two other centers are being established in Leyte State University (LSU) formerly known as ViSCA and at FIDA Regional Office based in Tacloban City, she added.

FIDA is still in the full swing of eradicating the lingering virus, Bandibas disclosed.

Earlier this month, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the province announced that abaca textile production has been launched by the OFW association based in San Rafael, Maasin City. Sinamay raw materials shall undergo more processing with the rolling presser, a fabricated equipment thru the assistance of DOST.

Local abaca industry which manufactures various fashion bags, sinamay, coin purse, book covers, cell phone holders, slippers, textiles, among other products, is a top dollar earner industry in the community, however, it largely depends on the availability of abaca crops for its continued existence.

Though the extent of destruction on abaca crops is inconceivable but FIDA is optimistic that time for healing will soon turn up beyond expectation. (PIA Southern Leyte) [top]

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