MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY – The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) provided the Farmers of Mantalongon (FARMS), a farm cooperative that process sisal plants into fiber, the Sisal Processing Center (SPC) in Mantalongon, Barili, Cebu.
PhilFIDA-7 regional director Benjamin Gomo said that the SPC is the fulfilment of DA secretary William Dar’s promise he to the sisal farmers here during his visit in Mantalongon in December last year.
Gomo went on that the SPC project cost amounted to P4.6-million that include the center and the various processing equipment like Handloom weaving machine, decorticating machines and others.
Gomo said that PhilFIDA had conducted several trainings to the FARMS members/cooperators in the last quarter of 2020 to prepare them for this facility. The trainings included fiber extraction using the multi-fiber decortication machines, fiber scrunch-making and fiber twinning.
Sisal farmer-cooperator Flordeliza Navales of Brgy. Sambagon, Pinamungajan is one of the beneficiaries of the project who received 8,000 pieces of sisal planting materials in 2017and she underwent a processing training at the SPC in 2020.
According to Gomo Sisal (Agave sisalana) plants or called Amercanong magay in a municipality of Cebu, is somewhat similar to Maguey plants (Agave cantala) that are climate resilient and thrive in rocky conditions which can be harvested within two years.
“Sa akong 2 hectares nga luna nga gitamnan og 8,000 ka sisal, nakaharvest ko og 3,000 ka mga dahon sa sisal gikan lamang sa 100 ka punuan. Ako dayon gidala ngadto sa SPC sa Mantalongon aron ma-ectract ang fiber,” Navales said. (I planted around 8,000 hills of sisal planting materials. From a small portion of around 100 sisal plants, I was able to harvest some 3,000 sisal leaves which I brought to the SPC in Mantalongon for fiber extraction.)
Gomo said that products of sisal include raw fibers, fiber twines, scrunch, carpets. The fiber twines can be upgraded into bags, slippers, decorative items while the scrunch can be converted also to decorative items, bags and wrapping materials for flowers.