Improving Lives Through Sericulture in Negros Island
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.
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.
The center in Barangay Ilijan started in September 1998 and its sericulture project has improved the livelihood of many farmers in the province.
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.
The project also includes the production of silkworm eggs and the growing of mulberry trees in the highlands as food for the silkworms.
In March 2005, the center also started to weave cloth out of the silk yarns.
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.
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.
Staff members, who are OISCA training graduates, regularly visit participating farms to provide the necessary guidance to rearing silk worms.
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.