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    Region X sericulture projects take off

    A sericulture expert from Japan recently gave his thumbs up to the progress of sericulture/silkworm rearing houses in Misamis Oriental funded by the  Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA) International, through the World Bank.

    OISCA Resident Representative Yukihiro Ishibashi recently visited two sericulture project sites in Sitio Saguing, Barangay Patag in the Municipality of Opol, Misamis Oriental and Barangay Balubal in Cagayan de Oro City, where silkworm rearing houses were constructed under the aegis of its Promotion of sustainable communities across the Philippines through silk production program.

    “They are very cooperative with our activities in OISCA so I’m very happy and satisfied with the performance of the staff of the government, at the same time [the] cooperation of the community beneficiaries in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental,” Ishibashi said.

    OISCA International contributes to Humanity's environmentally sustainable development through a holistic approach emphasizing the interconnectedness of agriculture, ecological integrity, and human spirit. To accomplish this, OISCA International implements and advocates hands-on experiential programs for world citizens of all ages, transmitting knowledge and skills, and cultivating spiritual qualities as dedication, self-reliance, and universal brother-sisterhood.

    One of OISCA`s four-pillars to development, Capacity Building is one of the cornerstones of Furusato Movement. OISCA`s 22 training centers located in 11 countries including Japan, aims to empower the youths through agriculture training, home economics, and technical skills training. Graduates of the program are expected to be the leaders and catalyst for change and help in the development of their own respective communities.

    The Japanese Embassy in Manila has allotted a total of USD426,168 or about PHP22.15 million to support sericulture business in the Philippines.

    The provinces of Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Aklan, Iloilo, Antique, and Negros Occidental are the identified beneficiaries of the project, through the transfer of similar sericulture business support that has been carried out in Negros Island.

    Through this grant, the beneficiaries will undergo leadership development seminars for spreading sericulture operations, short-term training for sericulture farmers, and mulberry field maintenance.

    While production of textiles is popular in the Philippines, Filipinos commonly rely on imports from other countries for its raw silk materials, including those used for traditional costumes such as the Barong Tagalog.

    The Philippines aims to achieve the domestic production of all silk threads used in the country, making Japan's support deployment project for sericulture an essential initiative.

    According to the Embassy, OISCA's assistance in the silk farming industry in the Philippines has come a long way, carrying out sericulture support business on Negros Island for more than 20 years.

    To further support the initiative, the Department of Science and Technology-Misamis Oriental (DOST-MOR) sourced P145,000 from OISCA for the silkworm rearing house. The agency then linked the farmers to the Philippine Textile Research Institute – Technology Center in Misamis Oriental (PTRI-TCMO) for training and technical assistance in silk cocoon production.

    Four members of the Sitio Saguing Community Farmers Association (SSCFA) in CNQ Farms completed a 3-day hands-on training on sericulture at the PTRI-TCMO, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental last 5-7 May 2021. Evaluators of the rearing house in Barangay Patag considered the facility to be suitable for silkworm rearing and functional for silk cocoon production.

    Meanwhile, the sericulture project in Barangay Balubal was made possible by the DOST Local Grants-In-Aid (LGIA) program in cooperation with the Local Government Unit of Cagayan de Oro City through the City Housing and Urban Development Department (CHUDD). As a result, the project's beneficiaries were successful in their first and second silk cocoon harvest last 14 February and 28 April of this year, respectively.

    Ishibashi expressed his great appreciation for the building of the rearing houses. He added that the setup was very ideal considering the distance between the rearing house and the mulberry field of the sericulture site in Barangay Balubal.

    After 50 years of working experience at grassroots level, OISCA adopts a new approach of integrating all its development and environmental conservation programs. OISCA coined the term Furusato Movement. The term furusato is Japanese word which means home.
    The Furusato Movement is aimed at creating sustainable communities where its residents work together in a spirit of cooperation and self-reliance to achieve their common goals. It is also aimed at economic self- reliance, social security, environmental conservation and participation in policy formulation realized on the foundation created by various forms of capacity building.
    To know more about the project, please contact Julie Anne H. Baculio, Science Research Specialist I at stpromotions@region10.dost.gov.ph or mobile number 0917-709-3706. (Danielle Jeane Quilit, DOST-Misamis Oriental) (with reports from Japan Embassy, OISCA & DOST-STII)


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