Amidst mobility challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Project management Office of Camiguin headed by Provincial Project Director Eddie C. Agac-ac facilitated the delivery of 16 units Abaca Fiber decorticating machines to the LABACO Agrarian Reform Community Cluster farmers, Camiguin Province last June 9-10, 2020.

According to Agac-ac, the conduct of delivery strictly followed health and other safety measures, because there is no point delaying this vital machines in helping our abaca farmers increase their income specially during this pandemic.

“These machines is expected to bolster vast production in harvestable abaca areas of LABACO ARC cluster. The Mindanao Abaca Sustainability Initiative (MASI) in Camiguin projected a five metric ton-delivery per month to Newtech Pulp Inc. (NPI),” he explained.

These decorticating machines will fill in the gap of lower fiber production.

The Abaca production areas in LABACO ARC Cluster now covers more than 100 hectares however, the total production of fiber is quite lower than expected affecting farmers and machine operators’ income.

The Agoho Multi Purpose Cooperative (AMPC), the lead consolidator of the abaca fiber enterprise and NAGPAKABANA Multi-Purpose Cooperative (NMPC), both received five units each while Bonbon Sagay Upland Farmers Association (BSUFA) got six units.

“Kini! mao ni amo gipangita nga makina,”(these are the machines we are waiting for) words repeatedly uttered by BSUFA member farmer Rex Yawing during the test run at Kilon-ac, Bonbon, Sagay, Camiguin.

“And our biggest thanks to the DAR-Project ConVERGE”, he added.

Yawing also stressed that they will take care of the machines and explained that the organization has outlined its operations and maintenance policies to ensure that they will get the maximum benefits of the machines.

Project ConVERGE is jointly funded by the Department of Agrarian Reform and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. (Rodelo Boholano, Provincial MEKM Specialist, PPMO-Camiguin)