THE Department of Agriculture (DA), led by Secretary Manny Piñol, marked the release of P50 million in funding for an abaca nursery project in Southern Leyte with a ceremonial check turn-over in the municipality of Sogod on September 16.
Joined by Sogod Mayor Imelda Tan, Piñol explained that the funding would be used for a nursery to produce abaca suckers (seedlings) for the whole of Region VIII.
“This is part of the national plan of the government to revive the industry and address the shortage of abaca in the world market. We are looking at expanding production areas by 500 hectares per region,” Piñol stressed.
Asked about when the funding would be available, he added, “For your information, the money has been deposited to the account of Sogod LGU yesterday [September 15], so this is really happening.”
The Sogod Bay area in Southern Leyte was at one time one of the important abaca-growing areas in the Philippines before the bunchy top virus wiped out the crop in the early 2000s, according to information from the DA.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE