Fiber Crops Production
Jul 2nd, 2010 | Category: Farming & Production, Livelihood
The Philippines is one of the world’s largest producers of fiber crops. It is blessed with optimal weather conditions, good types of soil, even distribution of rain throughout the year, and other related factors, which make growing fiber crops favorable. Abaca, cotton, maguey, pineapple, and ramie are just some fiber crops grown in the country. These crops are used in making different products sold in local and international markets. The raw materials we get from fiber crops are valued for their strength and durability. These fiber crops provide us with materials use in making clothes, linen, bags, nets, slippers, doormats, mats, and others. Demands for fiber crops today are increasing in local and foreign markets. Due to high technology, production and processing of fiber crops have been made easy and accessible. Thus, increasing demands for fiber crops are easily met. Today, fiber crops are considered as one of the important agricultural products of the country. Varieties:
Abaca - one of the valuable indigenous plants of the Philippines. Abaca is a banana-like plant. The trunk of the plant consists of 92% water. The finer fibers, often about five meters (15 ft.) long, are used for weaving cloth. The outer, courser fibers are used in manufacturing matting and durable cordage. Abaca has numerous uses and products like Manila paper, copra bags, tea bags, coffee filters, and security and currency papers. Abaca leaves are used for shading and wrapping. Leaf sheaths are used for roofing and for shading newly transplanted seedling, while the dried outer leaf sheaths are used for making trays, bags, wall panelling, and place mats. In the Bicol region (Albay, Camarines, and Sorsogon), the most varieties of abaca grown are Itom, Itolus 45, Lausigon, Lausmug 24, Sagurud, Samina, Sugmad, and Tinawagan.
Cotton - locally known as bulak. It is the most adaptable and one of the most widely used fibers. Cotton lint is the fiber used for textiles. Its fibers have a great economic importance as a raw material used in manufacturing cloth, knitted cotton, mattresses, pillows, threads, and twines. Its widespread use is largely due to the ease in which its fibers can be spun into yarn. The strength, absorbency, and capacity of cotton to be washed and dyed also make it adaptable to a considerable variety of textile products. The varieties most recommended for planting are Batangas White and Kapas Purao.
Maguey (Agave cantala) - its commercial production began in 1904. Moderate or short rainy seasons and long dry seasons are suitable for growing maguey. Too much rain is harmful to the plant. The fibers are dried and bleached during dry, warm, and bright days. The leaves of maguey are thick and pulpy with sharp points and spiny margins. The stalk or stem is stout and rather short. This plant grows slowly and flowers only once. It rises up to a height of six meters and has unpleasant odor. Maguey fibers are used in making cloth, coiled basket, cord, fish net, hammock, sole of sued shoes, and others. The three famous varieties of maguey in the Philippines are Maguey (Agave cantala), Henequen (Agave fourcroydes), and Zapupe (Agave zapupe).
Pineapple - Cabezine or the Queen Variety is the only variety of pineapple commonly raised for fiber production. This variety is used in producing piña jusi, which is the material in barong and other elegant filipiniana dresses. The Queen Variety has a smaller crown but has long and spiny leaves. The leaves grow to about 100 cm long and 6.5 cm wide. Pineapples may grow in almost every part of the Philippines especially in Cavite, Batangas, and Bukidnon.
Ramie - recognized as a valuable commodity even in ancient China, where it is said to have originated. Commercial demand for ramie is increasing due to its may uses. Ramie fibers are exceptionally long, lustrous, durable, soft,...
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