The native seldom plows the ground before planting, just burns it over and sets the plants ten or twelve feet apart. As a rule the owner works on shares with the workmen, who strip the fiber from the plant. Twelve to twenty stalks grow from one root and these are split, the layers separated and drawn between a block of wood and a sharp knife. The fiber is then hung over bamboo poles, exactly like a washing put out to dry. I have seen it twelve feet long, looking like spun glass in the sunlight. The drying takes a day or two and then the hemp is tied in bundles and shipped to the nearest market, often traveling by carabao cart. The exporter sorts it into commercial grades, packs it in 275-pound bales, and off it goes to the four corners of the earth. The so-called Manila paper is made from old rope.
The Department of Agriculture here makes the statement that a young man with $5,000 to invest, willing to live in the tropics, can make money in growing hemp. The industry seems
NATIVES LOADING HEMP.