As part of the endeavor to assist indigenous people communities in the region, DOST-MIMAROPA in collaboration with the Local Government Unit of Calatrava conducted training on tiger grass broom production for an IP community in Calatrava, Romblon last August 20, 2021. Other related technologies on tiger grass including disruptive broom design and compact tiger grass pollen remover which were developed by faculty-researchers from Romblon State University (RSU) were also showcased during the activity.

Participants trying out the compact tiger grass pollen remover

Tiger grass is a primary commodity in Calatrava grown for its ecological and economic importance. It can serve as a hedgerow that helps control soil erosion in upland areas and is also harvested to be used as raw material for a soft broom or “tambo” production providing potential livelihood to community members.

The training aims to introduce innovative income-generating activities to the IP community that utilizes local resources such as the tiger grass and promote technologies that may further develop the industry.  It introduced methods on creating a “disruptive soft broom” which has an improved design made of tiger grass, PVC pipes, and recycled bottles held together by rivets. This new design is reusable as it only requires replacement of tiger grass instead of throwing out the whole broom and replacing it with a new one. It is also environmentally friendly as it uses recyclable plastics and minimizes the use of wood products.

Dr. Bilshan Servanez of Romblon State University showcasing the disruptive soft broom to participants

Moreover, the training acquainted participants with the use of a compact tiger grass pollen remover to ease the cleaning and removal of pollen and eliminate the conventional practice of beating the flower stalks against hard surfaces. Such conventional practice produces raw material which could result in low-quality brooms. The technology is also user and gender-friendly allowing women and children to operate it. It can be motor driven or battery-operated making it easier for farmers to produce

A total of 35 members of the IP community participated in the training activity.