Philippine Silk Production Gets Stronger in the North
Silk yarn production in Kalinga will soon add to the exciting story of the DOST - Philippine Textile Research Institute’s SEDA Pilipinas brand.
Part of the DOST-PTRI’s Philippine Silk Road Program Through S&T Program is the development of the Philippine Silk Course. This includes the conduct of training about the “Basics of Sericulture: Silkworm Rearing to Post Cocoon Harvest Management”, which was recently conducted in Kalinga State University Rizal Campus last July 26-29, 2021. It was collaboratively staged by the DOST-CAR, Kalinga State University, and the DOST-PTRI.
The immersive training provided lectures, tour, and hands-on activities about mulberry propagation and management, silkworm rearing for cocoon production, and post-cocoon harvest activity. The management of pests and diseases of both the silkworm and the mulberry was also included in the lecture. Emphasis was given to the molting and mounting characters of the silkworms since this is usually where cocoon producers find challenging.
Figure 1. Training participants with KSU President Eduardo Bagtang in the culminating activity.
With the training course, a new pool of skilled silkworm rearing and cocoon producers will be added in the province. As emphasized by President Eduardo T. Bagtang: “Let’s make sericulture work in the Municipality of Rizal. We cannot do it alone; we need the help of farmers like you. Let us make Rizal, the Science City in the province of Kalinga”. The Philippine Silk Training Course, with the addition of 8 new hectares planted to mulberry in Kalinga, cocoon production is underway.
To start rearing, at least ¼ hectare of land area and a 16-square meter rearing house to feed ½ box of silkworm eggs are needed. During the training, the farmers even came up with the idea that those who have ¼ hectare of land or with larger landholding can grow mulberry trees and sell the leaves to those who want to rear silkworms but could not provide the land requirement.
Figure 2. Hole digging by the trainees in preparation for planting of mulberry saplings.
Aside from the moriculture activities, the participants fed young and grown silkworms every day and made collapsible cocooning frames from chicken wire using a heat gun since they need the skill to make their cocooning frames. The trainees also enjoyed planting 200 saplings in the KSU Mulberry field as part of their field visit.
Figure 3. Mr. Diego Bulangen Jr. demonstrating the feeding of young silkworms.
Figure 4. The trainees picking up the silkworms one by one during the hands-on in bed cleaning.
The training was attended by 24 participants, ten (10) of the participants are farmers by profession, five (5) are students taking up Agriculture with their thesis on moriculture, seven (7) are staff from KSU, with two (2) others who are already involved with the DOST-PTRI sericulture project.
With this new development and partnerships, it will strengthen and boost the initiative particularly on the revitalization of Sericulture in the Cordillera Administrative Region and in the country.