DOST-PSTC Occidental Mindoro conducts Training on Buri Processing and Weaving in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro
by Maria Ethelwilda G. Coronacion, PSTC-Occidental Mindoro
Patricia O. Calora, DOST-MIMAROPA Regional Office

Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro – Members of the SamahangKababaihan ng BagongSikat participated in the Training on Buri Processing and Weaving held last March 7-11, 2016 in the Traveller’s Hotel at Barangay 9, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro.

The training, which was conducted for five days, allowed the participants to learn basic skills in buri processing and weaving. This included drying, bleaching, and dyeing processes, as well as weaving buri leaves into placemats, coasters, and bags.

Buri

Buri is a species of palm considered to be the largest in the world. It grows naturally as its seeds are carried by the wind or dispersed by animals.

In the Marinduque and Quezon province, buri palm leaves are fully utilized for their ability to provide livelihood and contribute to the local economy. It also creates employment and generates income for their locals. For this reason, these provinces actively tend to the perennial palms. They have developed their buntal weaving industry, from whichburi hats, bags, fans and other decorative items are woven from. Meanwhile, in Occidental Mindoro, buri, which grows mostly in the mountainous areas, is underutilized in terms of its economic and industrial use.

Samahan ng Kababaihan ng BagongSikat

The Samahan ng Kababaihan ng BagongSikat was organized by the local government unit of Barangay 9, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro, in an effort to support the women sector of their community.

In the former days, women were compelled to learnweaving. They had to weave sacks in time for the harvest season. Before plastic sacks were made commercially available, buri sacks were used to store palay grains after sun drying. Since it was more convenient for farmers to use readily available plastic sacks, buri sacks were put to the side.

Recently, barangay officials passed a local ordinance banning commercial establishments from the use of non-biodegradable plastics. Barangay 9, Mamburao is the only barangay in the northern part of Occidental Mindoro to have passed such an ordinance in support of environmental protection efforts.

Local establishments have since then used brown paper bags, waste office paper supplies, and paper bags made from old newspapers. However, recycled paper bags can only be reused for so many times. As a solution, the local government has proposed the use of buri bags in place of paper bags. Local officials have also seen this as an opportunity to give the barangay an opportunity to produce various handicrafts that use dried buri leaves as raw material.

This prompted them to coordinate with the Department of Science and Technology’s Provincial Science and Technology Center – Occidental Mindoro for a training on the maximum use of burileaves as an alternative income generating activity for the Samahan ng Kababaihan ng BagongSikat.

 

Dyeing as added value

Dried buri leaves are typically stripped from the fronds, dried, and then rolled. Usually, they are made available to farmers to use for bundling harvest palay stalks.

Using these leaves as raw material for woven handicrafts such as bags and hats will provide an alternative source of income for the locals. Dyeing dried buri leaves with different colors will further add value to the woven handicrafts.

During the training held last March 7-11, the women of the Samahan ng Kababaihan ng BagongSikat excused themselves from their usual house chores to learn how to make woven handicrafts. The five day training did not justprovide an opportunity for the women to learn buri drying, bleaching, and weaving processes but it also allowed them to discover how to add aesthetic value to the handicrafts they plan to produce. Armed with the basic skills they learned from the training, the Samahan ng Kababaihan ng BagongSikat can earn more income for their households.