FITS Center at Virac, Catanduanes: Cooperative Meeting at Buenavista, Bato, Catanduanes held on February 6, 2006


     Coordination of the meeting with farmers was done with the FITS staff. The commitment of member agency, Catanduanes State College was reiterated by the BCARRD staff headed by the Consortium Director. The President of CSC, Dr. Asuncion Aserte has expressed her commitment and support to the undertakings and projects of BCARRD.

     Farmers' meeting composed of the cooperative members was held at the Barangay Hall of Buenavista, Bato, Catanduanes. A simple introduction of the BCARRD staff, FITS staff and the cooperative members was done. An orientation of the role of BCARRD and FITS center was explained by the Consortium Director and the rest of the BCARRD staff. An introduction of the K-Agrinet program as special project was done by RMIS afterwhich a question and answer method was employed. Issues gathered during such meeting included the following:


  1. Source of planting materials for abaca. Farmers could not increase the are planted to abaca for the simple reason that there is not enough planting materials available.
  2. Selling price of abaca isso low because the quality of the fiber is also poor because Catanduanes is typhoon-belt area. The fiber becomes brown instead of white.
  3. Only few engaged in handicraft because of limited capital and low income.

     Source of planting materials can be FIDA since the research laboratory are doing tissue culture to increase plant stocks. At this point, an indigenous technology of increasing the number of planting materials was mentioned. A pit was made and the leaves of jackfruit are burned inside the pit. Then, a sucker of abaca was planted and an average of eight (8) suckers were produced after 6-12 months.

     On the production of abaca fiber and market, Agrinet will have a great role. FITS center can have the web site to advertise the product and at the same time find the market for the specific product. This include the handicraft products, and pinokpok materials. Involvement of women in handicraft making can add income to the family. With the improvement of quality, selling price also increase. Increased income will add to the capitalization of the family.



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