PhilFIDA Turns Over Machineries for Pineapple Fiber Production in a Ceremony at the Malacañang Palace

Date Posted March 2017.

A ceremonial turn-over of agricultural machineries for pineapple fiber production was held at the Malacañang Palace on March 7, 2017. President Rodrigo R. Duterte awarded the certificates to farmer cooperatives from the different regions of the country that maintain large areas of pineapple plantation. The event, spearheaded by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, aimed to show the DA’s commitment in helping and improving the livelihood of our farmers and at the same time utilize the available renewable resources.

Since PhilFIDA’s mandate involve the identification of new uses for natural fibers, the use of waste pineapple leaves as source of fiber was explored. Hence, machineries were designed by the PhilFIDA in collaboration with KOLBI which include:

·       30 units multi-fiber decorticating machines with safety mechanism which are used to extract fibers from waste pineapples leaves left in the field after harvest;

·       4 units mechanical drier to dry the fibers during rainy season;

·       and 4 units baling machine to prepare clean, inspected and graded pineapple fibers ready to be traded to intended buyers.

The DA, thru the PhilFIDA, provided the machineries to help increase the supply of pineapple fibers. This is in answer to the huge demand for pineapple fibers by countries in the Europe, specifically Ananas Anam of UK, who produces pineapple leather material called “Piñatex”. With these machines, the farmer beneficiaries are expected to produce good quality pineapple fibers needed in the manufacture of Piñatex substrates and Piñatex leather alternative products such as shoes, bags and other accessories.

Piñatex is a breakthrough product developed through years of research and collaborative work between Ananas Anam UK and Nonwoven Fabric Phils. Inc. (NFPI).   With the manufacturing plant in Carmona, Cavite, the NFPI provided the manufacturing support and technical expertise using well proven machinery in the production of the base material, better known as the Piñatex Substrate.