During the Abaca Industry EconomicOperators’ Forum at the tourism and training center here, Costales encouragedfarmers to produce high grade or first class abaca fibers, following reportsthat the abaca fibers produced in the province are “low grade.” According to him, this was due to theinferior blades used by farmers when extracting the fibers. PhilFIDA Executive Director KennedyCostales said the P7-billion Philippine abaca fiber industry has helped boostthe country’s economy from its 97-percent export earnings. According to PhilFIDA, Aklan ranked9th among the country’s top abaca-producing provinces from Jan. to Nov.2018. The abaca-producing towns in theprovince include Libacao, Madalag, Balete, Ibajay, Malinao, Makato, Banga, andAltavas – with Libacao having the highest production. KALIBO, Aklan – The Philippine FiberIndustry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) urged abaca farmers in this provinceto produce high-grade abaca fibers due to its increasing demand. The production of low grade abacafibers was among the current woes in the industry, which might affect itsstatus as the top global abaca trader, supplying about 87.4 percent of theworld’s abaca fiber requirements.(With areport from PIA/PN) Abaca farmers in Aklan are urged to produce high-grade abaca fibers due to its increasing demand. According to Kennedy Costales, executive director of the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority, the P7-billion Philippine abaca fiber industry has helped boost the country’s economy from its 97-percent export earnings. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE-PHILIPPINE RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT Meanwhile, he also shared the “AbacaTuxy Buying Special Project,” market trends and opportunities or threats to theindustry. The project, he said, aims to improvethe take home pay of abaca farmers by two-fold to almost three-fold net ofgovernment obligations by organizing themselves into a cooperative of about 100to 350 members or more.