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PIA Press Release

DOST-Benguet sustains silkworm egg production

by SC Aro

La Trinidad, Benguet (31 October) -- The Department of Science and Technology -Benguet Office formerly the Philippine Textile Research Institute Benguet Office assured that it will still maintain egg production for the rearing of silkworm even if it is no longer its mandate.

Dr. Arnold Inumpa, now Provincial Director of DOST-Benguet said that the then PTRI-Benguet Office was absorbed and reconstituted as DOST-Benguet last January in consonance with the rationalization program of the government. However, the PTRI Central Office in Manila including its old station in Mindanao is still operational.

Inumpa said their office still has to sustain egg production of silkworm due to the demand of farmers but breeding which entails research could no longer be undertaken by their office. He said their mandate now is to promote mature technology for feasible livelihood projects.

As there are no takers yet of the technology, Inumpa said the direction eventually will be the privatization of the production of silkworm eggs.

DOST-Benguet could still produce the regular production between 100 to 200 boxes per year, Inumpa stressed as there are two staff assigned to do the job. One box is equivalent to normally 20,000 eggs with a survival rate of 85 to 90 percent.

Of the total production, only one-fourth to one-third is being disposed, the rest are wasted according to Inumpa. These are purchased through the Fiber Industry and Development Authority (FIDA).

The costs of silkworm vary by silkworm stage but for the eggs it is charged at P200.00per box. Newly hatched or first in star costs P230.00 per box, 10 days old or third in star costs P250.00 per box. The six days old or second in star silkworms are not being sold.

Aside from Kapangan, Kibungan and Bakun are also focusing on sericulture industry, with funding from the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) amounting to P1.5 million each for the establishment of rearing houses. Some farmers in Sablan and Mankayan have also ventured in silkworm production. (PIA-Benguet) [top]

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