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DOST V through PSTO Catanduanes releases SETUP funds to Apanti Agri-Industrial Products and Development in Baras

Another beneficiary from Baras received her technology fund/ assistance through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) last November 17, 2022.

Apanti Agri-Industrial Products and Development is a weaving industry originally located at Paniquihan, Baras, Catanduanes. The industry was founded by Mr. Virgilio Apanti and Ms. Anita Apanti in 1996, assisted by Philippine Textile and Research Institute (PTRI) in handloom weaving training. The weaving started with 5 to 10 women trainees. For almost four years of continuous training and research development at Mr. Apanti's own expense, the enterprise was able to modify its weaving looms and other equipment. The business produces handwoven abaca fabrics called BANACA (Banana-Abaca) using high quality abaca fibers.

The weaving industry encountered series of calamities. One of these is the destruction of Typhoon Nina in 2016. The building collapsed and most of the weaving looms were destroyed. These losses affect the emotional and physical health of Mr. Apanti who died eventually in 2018 due to health complications

However, the weaving business continued to operate in 2017 with three weaving looms and three weavers managed by one of his children, Ms. Rebecca Joy Apanti. Eventually, it became fully operational with 13 weavers, sorters, and winders. The production starts to meet the demand of the market.

In 2020, the industry was again affected by the global pandemic and the destructive effect of Typhoon Rolly. Due to COVID19 pandemic, the sales and labor force declined by almost 60%. The production is affected by the health restrictions. In addition, the weaving center did not withstand the destruction caused by typhoon Rolly plus the supply of high quality abaca fibers in the province was affected. Despite this, the weaving industry in Catanduanes is still moving towards its full recovery, thanks to the assistance of some organizations and some government offices

The project entitled โ€œModernizing the Production of BANACA (Abaca Pinukpok Fazbric) Through Equipment Upgradingโ€ is expected to acquire higher capacity technologies that will enable the firm to upgrade its weaving capabilities such as (Portable weaving looms, Electric warping machine and Rotary Press with Cutter and Presser); increase production capacity by 40%; eliminate 65%- 75% rejects on BANACA (Abaca Pinukpok Fabric); produce other higher value products made of Abaca Pinukpok fabrics that can be used in interior designing and accents to furniture and materials for upholster; and hire three (3) additional employees.

First published in the PSTO Catanduanes Facebook page on November 21, 2022 | Original post