DAVAO CITY Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte is encouraging farmers in the city to intercrop abaca with other crops like coconut as there is a growing demand for the commodity.

Abaca is considered as a viable alternative to wood for pulp and paper manufacture and is preferred material to plastic.

Duterte said some industries are shifting back to natural and environment-friendly raw materials.

Duterte added that there are many opportunities the abaca industry can bring such as employment and earnings.

"The demand for abaca is very high so whoever has a nursery of the abaca will surely earn from it," Duterte told the media in an interview.

Whoever is interested to intercrop abaca can ask for assistance from the Department of Agriculture and look for Ted Costales of the same department for consultation.

The vice mayor said he believed the city still has space for abaca plantation and it is not necessary for a farmer to only plant abaca in his/her lot as they can already intercrop abacas with just one-hectare land.

An abaca fiber is also used as material to produce furniture and fixtures, textiles, handicraft, other industrial products from cosmetics, skin care products and toothbrush, sausage casing, stencil papers and currency notes, among others.

Duterte said there are many foreign investors who had shown their interests in investing in Davao City, particularly on agriculture and infrastructures.

Duterte added that among the investors are the Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Indians.

There are also those who are interested to invest for infrastructure projects in Mindanao and he added that he had already endorsed them to the Office of the President Rodrigo Duterte who is also his father, as this is already out of his jurisdiction.