Women’s group in Sabangan earn from cocoon production

August 19, 2016

There is uneasy feeling associated with the sight crawling worms and other insects. Women of Barangay Namatec, Sabangan, Mt. Province are different. They turn these worms into money-making business through cocoon production.

Truly, there is nothing a woman cannot do for her family.

 With help of the local government of Sabangan and the Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), the group Namatec Sericulture Growers Multipurpose Farmers Association, Inc. (NSGMFAI) was formed in 2014.

Starting with only with 25 members, the group has grown to 45 members. They had series of technical trainings in Sericulture Learning Center in La Trinidad, Benguet.

Jocelyn Felix, the president of the organization says the group is into cocoon production for now. They buy silk worms, takes care of them until they form cocoons which they sell for more complex processing in La Trinidad.

Since the group does not have the proper machineries, they are set in mastering cocoon production until they have enough capital and competence to expand their operation.

To produce high class cocoons, silkworms needs to feed on mulberry leaves for 12-15 days. Mulberry leaf is an exclusive food for silkworms. Hedcor Sabangan helps the group through providing mulberry seedlings and shouldering the maintenance cost for the mulberry plantation.

Proper maintenance of the mulberry plantation through irrigation, pruning and fertilizers is important to achieve optimum leaf production. The quality of the cocoons depends largely on the quantity and quality of leaves they fed on.

“The mulberry plantation is the backbone of our operation,” says Jocelyn.

 The group is using a small house in Namatec as their warehouse. Every member has schedule in tending the worms.

After feasting on the leaves, the worms will be transferred into another row of clean cradles for six days of producing cocoons. During the whole six days, worms will spew out fine white fiber which will form into an egg-shaped cocoon. The group sells the harvested cocoons for P250 per kilo.