DOST-CAR assists ASC on sericulture project
In partnership with the LGU of Kabugao, PLGU of Apayao, and the Philippine Fibber Industry Development Authority (Phil-FIDA), the Apayao State College (ASC) ventured into a DOST-CAR-assisted sericulture project through a MOAat the newfound Barangay Elias K. Bulut here recently.
With the initial one hectare land area provided by LGU-Kabugao, and the 24,000 mulberry cuttings provided by the Phil-FIDA, the project is seen to provide research opportunities for the college and livelihood opportunities for the people of the said barangay.
Ultimately, it is aimed that the project will expand to at least 10 hectares land area in order to sustain the mulberry leaves requirement of silkworms for cocoon production within four years.
Within the agreement, DOST-CAR will continuously provide the technical support to the farmers with the technology on silk worm production currently in place.
Earlier in January 11, 2017, DOST-CAR Regional Director, Victor D. Mariano, the brainchild of the project, personally visited ASC to initially discuss the project components as well as the actual project site.
"Silk out of the sericulture technology has a very big market being a high-value product. It would also provide a lot of jobs considering the 70% silk requirement of the country today," Mariano said.
Sericulture or silk farming, is the rearing of silkworm for the production of silk. Silk was first produced in China as early as the Neolithic period. During the late 1960s, it was introduced in the country by the Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers through the Mountain Province Development Authority (MPDA) in La Trinidad, Benguet.
When the MPDA was abolished, the sericulture project was handed over to the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) of the National Science Development Board (NSDB, now DOST) by order of the Philippine President.
"Cordillerans have the natural talent in weaving. One weaver that we give a job is one less the people yearning for job,"Mariano also underlined.
With the aim to revitalize the sericulture industry in CAR, the need for the establishment of a silkworm rearing houses with the establishment of an appropriate mulberry field is now realized initially in Apayao, through ASC with the initiative of the forestry and agriculture departments of the college.
To date, 18 silkworm mainlines are maintained by DOST-CAR, in partnership with Benguet State University (BSU), as sources of quality hybrid silkworm eggs to be distributed to the other project recipients which include Kalinga State University (KSU), Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) and BSU at the same time.
"Aside from its being an erosion control measure, the sericulture project can contribute to poverty reduction, food security, climate change and the National Greening Program (NGP)," CARASUC Chair, Nieves A.Dacyon said.
In the case of ASC, the project will already begin producing cocoons from silk worms fed with mulberry after 10 months. They will be transported to the facilities of Phil-FIDA in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet for post cocoon processing until they will be finally be sold out for weaving to the Sagada Weaving and other potential weavers.
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