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Ten housewives of the Cagayan de Oro Resettlement Socialized Housing Project (CDORSHP-4) Homeowners Association in Brgy. Balubal, Cagayan de Oro City have generated income with its first silk cocoon harvest on February 14. They are project beneficiaries of the Department of Science and Technology - Misamis Oriental (DOST-MOR).

The project is initiated under the Local Grants-In-Aid (LGIA) Program titled “Establishment of a Silkworm Rearing Center in Balubal, Cagayan de Oro City: A Support to the Silk Industry in Mindanao.” It aims to provide livelihood opportunities to the women of Balubal for income generation within their neighborhood.

The first rearing produced a total of 14 kilograms of silkworm cocoons of which 8 kilograms were classified as Class A and the remaining 6 kilograms considered Class B. Class A cocoons are whiter and bigger than Class B.

The Philippine Textile Research Institute - Technology Center Misamis Oriental (PTRI-TCMO) of DOST bought the cocoons at PhP 350 and PhP 300 per kilogram, respectively, through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). It produced sales from three-quarters of a box of silkworm larvae reared for 18 days. This volume of production is commendable for new cocoon producers.

According to Mr. Antonio Arabis, President of CDORSHP-4, the result of the harvest is convincing, and the women of the association enjoyed implementing the project since they were jobless.

For continuous production of silk cocoons, the Balubal CDORSHP-4 Homeowners Association planted additional 238 mulberry plants in the field with 1,388 mulberry plants still in the nursery. The second rearing of silkworms will commence on the first week of April 2021 with one box of third instar silkworm larvae.

This silk cocoon harvest in Balubal is just the first of many. These harvests will not only promote a bigger silkworm production, but more importantly empower housewives to increase access to economic resources and equal livelihood opportunities, and to make decisions that benefit themselves, their families, and their community. (Danielle Jeane Quilit, DOST-Mis. Or.)