The project is located in LABACO ARC Cluster covering the Municipalities of Mambajao, Catarman, Sagay in the Province of Camiguin.
Camiguin Island is a pearl-shaped island with an area of approximately 238 km2 (92 sq mi). The island measures about 23 kilometres (14 mi) at its longest and 14.5 kilometres (9.0 mi) at its widest breadth. The island is mountainous with the highest elevation reaching over 5,000 ft (1,500 m).
The population of Camiguin in the 2015 census was 88,478 people, with a density of 370 inhabitants per square kilometre or 960 inhabitants per square mile.
One of the recipients of Project ConVERGE is Camiguin in Region X. The province is predominantly agricultural. The project supported Abaca Fiber Production and Marketing as its enterprise. This covers LABACO ARC Cluster covering three (3) of 5 municipalities in the Island with 29.9% recorded poverty incidence in Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) report on Clustering of Provinces based on 2015 Poverty Incidence among Families, while the range was from 21.7% to 38.1%.
There are three (3) ARBO/FO in LABACO ARC Cluster, formed with DAR assistance. These are Agoho Multi- Purpose Cooperative (AMPC) in Municipality of Mambajao, Nagpakabana Multi-Purpose Cooperative (NMPC) in Municipality of Catarman and Bonbon Sagay Upland Farmers Association (BSUFA) in Municipality of Sagay. Based on Information Technology Enabled Maturity Assessment (ITEMA) ranking used by DAR to assess the stage of the development of the ARBO/FO, the lead ARBO is in category 4 and 2 participating ARBO/FO is in category 3 and 2, the highest development category is 5.
The devastation to abaca plantation brought by super typhoons in the island shifted farmers to really depend mainly on coconut and other crops for their livelihood.
The major challenge among the farmers is how to rebuild the land from the devastation of super typhoons.
One of the major issues is the price of abaca fiber from farm gate to abaca fiber big time buyers
From a long lay – off for not planting abaca, farmers need motivation and support that there is money in abaca farming and trading.
The proposed value chain project is the scaling up of abaca fiber trading of the ARBOs. The lead consolidator is the lead ARBO AMPC and two participating FOs NMPC and BSUFA.
The ultimategoal of the project is making them entrepreneurs. The direction of the project is making them independent to run their own business even after end of project. The objective is to target that by the end of project, there is substantial increase on income of the farmers and ARBOs/FOs.
The project is adding value to every stages of value chain from their conventional way of making money from abaca fiber trading. The project provides technical trainings, agricultural inputs for vast production areas, equipment for faster processing such as decorticating machines, warehouses, solar tunnel dryers and constructions of Farm to Market Roads (FMR).
Abaca can grow everywhere and very suitable in volcanic soil in the island of Camiguin. Long time ago, Camiguin is known on Abaca fiber or Manila Hemp. Trading was already existed before. Camiguin abaca fiber is considered to be the strongest fiber in the world according to PhilFIDA.
Technical experts already come up with the feasibility study of the project and agri-business enterprise. The project is feasible for it was being approved by RMSC. The project identified ARBOs/FOs to be assisted that are currently engaging the commodity trading. The project intends to add value in the chain that is from production, processing to marketing of Abaca Fiber.
The project provides Value Chain trainings, Value Chain Equipment such as High Density Presser, Decorticating Machines, Solar Tunnel Dryers, Warehouses and Farm to Market Roads Sub-projects
Members of the ARBOs/FO who are Abaca farmers are the main stakeholder and recipient of the project. Line agencies are partners of the development such as PhilFIDA, DENR, DTI, NCIP and LGUs.
The established buyer Newtech Pulp Inc. in Iligan City needs a very huge supply of abaca fiber to cope with the global demand of Abaca fiber.
The project promotes gender equality and sensitivity. It encourages especially the youth to be involved in the enterprise. It also considers the participation of Indigenous People and invited to be members of the assisted ARBOs/FOs
✓ Improved farm level productivity and efficiency
✓ Improved competitiveness, terms of trade, and market share of ARBOs
✓ Increased household income
✓ Target group vulnerability reduced
✓ Enhanced capacity of ARBOs to provide services
To ensure sustainability, there should be sufficient training for the selected and involved officials and members of the cooperatives for managing the project’s human resources, physical and mechanical resources among others.
Each members should abide the formulated Policies, Systems and Procedures of the enterprise.
The ARBOs should have a close monitoring on the equipment and financial aspects of the enterprise.