Abaca farming is one of the traditional economic activities of the indigenous peoples in Sarangani such as the T’bolis and B’laans, who live in the mountainous and forested areas of this province. Majority of these abaca farmers, however, lack the expertise and skills in managing their abaca farms. Most of them focus on producing fibers to meet quantity demands while neglecting market-recommended production and processing technology to improve fiber quality and command higher selling prices.
To address this gap and to improve farmers’ understanding of appropriate abaca production technology, the USAID Protect Wildlife project, the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), and the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) – the lead agency in the promotion and acceleration of fiber industry – organized the Sarangani Abaca Stakeholders Forum and a workshop to provide technology support for 120 abaca farmers. One of the partners of the Protect Wildlife project in the region, the Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI), also supported the events.
Both private and public sectors promote the planting of abaca to help control the indiscriminate cutting of trees and reduce the threats to biodiversity and conservation. (Protect Wildlife Project)