From Soil to Skin: From Simultaneous Field-Verification Trials of 4 New PTRI Hybrids in Mindanao with Partner-sericulture Farmers to the Cordilleras with Silk Materials for Development with national brand, Bayo, Inc.
From five (5) different locations in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan De Oro City, four (4) new PTRI 3rd instar silkworm hybrid larvae were delivered for field-verification rearing to pioneering sericulture farmer-partners. This first cycle of simultaneous rearing produced the trial harvest of 48 kilograms of fresh cocoons. The full cooperation of groups in Cagayan de Oro City namely (a) Tinipagan Agro-Forestry Association Inc. (TAFAI) in Brgy. Tagpangi and (b) Cagayan de Oro Resettlement and Socialized Housing Project IV (CDORSHP-IV) in Brgy. Balubal along with 2 individual partners in Claveria, Misamis Oriental namely (c) Mrs. Florisa M. Docuyan of Brgy. Ane-i, and (d) Mr. Alfredo A. Ampo in Brgy. Panampawan led to the success of the activity. A control set of the same hybrids were reared in TCMO to serve as the 5th location.
The group of women-rearers under CDORSHP-IV in Brgy. Balubal, Cagayan de Oro City produced the best cocoons in terms of size and weight and received the highest payment for their output. Two more sets of rearing cycles this year using the same hybrids in the same locations will complete the final leg of the field-trials of the new PTRI hybrids before they will be launched for commercial use.
The whole activity was accomplished while Cagayan de Oro was under an ECQ lockdown.
In addition, the PTRI TCMO team prepares for more engagements, particularly for farmers in higher elevations than 900 meters for sericulture. Along with Provincial Agriculture head, Mr. Jose Apollo Y. Pacamalan, the PTRI TCMO team evaluated the feasibility of a high-altitude location in Brgy. Tipolohon, Claveria, Misamis Oriental. At 1,200 meters elevation with evening temperatures at a minimum of 24 deg C, the TCMO also commits to study the best rearing practices. The interest comes with the incentive from a Japanese NGO, OISCA who will fund farmer-partner interested to venture into silk production for the construction of one rearing structure through the administration of PAGRO. PTRI team provided the technical input for the rearing house, the environmental conditions. RH per instar of larvae as well as recommendations for mulberry management. The farmer committed to provide a mechanism to meet the required temperature and RH. This is a concrete example of an agro-techno collaboration towards enterprise development in a partnership that involves a national government agency, a local government unit, seri-farmer partners/associations and an international NGO in aid of wholistic livelihood generation.
But this is not all.
From northern Mindanao, the Cordilleras also step up with the training on the “Basics of Sericulture: Silkworm Rearing to Post Cocoon Harvest Management” at the Kalinga State University. The training was provided by project staff of the “Revitalization of Sericulture in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ms. Alfrieta B. Olayo and Mr. Diego S. Bulangen Jr., together with DOST-CAR staff, Ms. Catherine Kimbongan, in a four (4) day seminar given to 15 farmers. This included hands-on training, mulberry propagation and silkworm rearing to encourage farmers to venture into sericulture.
And still, this is not all.
BAYO, Inc., a national retail brand with over 300 stores nationwide is intent to pursue silk developments as they forge a joint understanding with the DOST PTRI, DOST CAR, and the LGU of Kapangan. This is strengthened by a joint collaboration between BAYO and PTRI to develop silk yarns throughout the silk value chain including reeling, throwing, degumming, dyeing with BAYO focusing on the silk fabric design. To debut under SEDA Pilipinas, the collection will be something to look forward to in the upcoming 2021 National Science and Technology Week which will be held in November.