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Improving Lives Through Sericulture in Negros Island

Negros Occidental

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Jun 13, 2014

The 26-hectare farmland and training center of the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA) Sericulture is found at Brgy. Tabunan, Bago City, Negros Occidental.

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OISCA Building; photo courtesy of OISCA/ABS-CBN Bacolod.

Sericulture or silkworm culture is an emerging industry in the Philippines. Bago City in Negros Occidental produces some of the best quality silks in the world as claimed by the director of OISCA Training Center, Shigemi Watanabe.

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OISCA Building; photo courtesy of OISCA/ABS-CBN Bacolod.

The center in Barangay Ilijan started in September 1998 and its sericulture project has improved the livelihood of many farmers in the province.

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OISCA Bago Training Center silk-making; photo courtesy of OISCA/ABS-CBN Bacolod.

It has a silk reeling factory that produces tons of silk yarns every day which are bought by clothing manufacturers across the country and are exported to all over the world.

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OISCA silkworms; photo courtesy of OISCA/ABS-CBN Bacolod.

The project also includes the production of silkworm eggs and the growing of mulberry trees in the highlands as food for the silkworms.

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OISCA mulberry farm; photo courtesy of OISCA/ABS-CBN Bacolod.

In March 2005, the center also started to weave cloth out of the silk yarns.

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OISCA end product – SILK thread; photo courtesy of OISCA/ABS-CBN Bacolod.

The silk byproducts, pupae, and silk of lower quality are also fully utilized. Thousands of kilograms of pupae are used as highly nutritious feed for chicken and fish, while the lower quality silk is made into summer clothing, shawls, and table cloth, among other things.

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OISCA silk farm; photo courtesy of OISCA/ABS-CBN Bacolod.

Many foreigners and visitors come to the province every year to observe and study the project, with the intention of starting their own silk production in their respective countries.

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OISCA harvesting silk; photo courtesy of OISCA/ABS-CBN Bacolod.

Staff members, who are OISCA training graduates, regularly visit participating farms to provide the necessary guidance to rearing silk worms.

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OISCA aerial shot; photo courtesy of OISCA/ABS-CBN Bacolod.

Watanabe said that there is now a low supply of silk in the country, as demand continuous to rise yearly.

To know more about OISCA, visit their website: www.oisca-international.org.

ABS-CBN Bacolod Marty Go contributed to this report.

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