Monday, December 18, 2017
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  • Roxas Foundation, Inc.

    Turning a New Leaf: Threads and Weaving from Sugarcane
    To promote sugarcane threads as an alternative in the textile industry
    Barangay Reparo in Nasugbu, Batangas
    447 families assisted
    2 years

    Sugarcane farmers are seasonal workers. Farmers usually earn an income for only six (6) months in a year: during sugarcane harvest and sugar production. The rest of the year, they are left to fend for themselves.

    Barangay Reparo has a total population of 2,047, comprised of 447 households. As an agricultural barangay, majority of the working population do not have regular jobs and depend on sugarcane farming as their source of income. Out of 447 households, 345 have working members of the family and 102 are unemployed. Out of the working population, only 40 have regular jobs with the rest (305) being irregular or seasonal workers. (Brgy. Reparo Socio-Economic Profile 2014)

    USAID, through the Philippine-American Fund, assists Roxas Foundation, Inc. (RFI) in helping marginalized sugarcane farmers have a year-round income. RFI puts together existing technology in plant fiber extraction in sugarcane stalks (bagasse) and midribs of sugarcane leaves as fiber. These materials are then used for weaving and textile production. The project trains community members in fiber extraction, yarn production, designing and weaving. It also helps the community through a waste disposal

    campaign and provides them with additional livelihood by selling sugarcane leaves and stalks. The project also opens new job opportunities and businesses in leaves and stalks collection, fiber extraction and thread production, weaving and textile production, marketing and other services needed in the value chain.

    RFI processed 6,000 kg of sugarcane stalks into bagasse. The stalks, which were processed by 18 beneficiaries, yielded 379 kg of dried bagasse ready for pretreatment at the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI). Compared to the previous production of bagasse, this batch of output is considerably lesser due to the removal of the hard outer skin of the sugarcane stalks. This step is recommended by PTRI to produce a softer sugarcane thread.

    Through the PTRI, the dried bagasse was pretreated and resulted in 100 kg sugarcane fibers for thread production. Thread production will resume in April 2017 upon the delivery of cotton thread that will be mixed with the sugarcane fibers.

    As part of the hands-on training, placemats made of cotton and polyester thread were produced. The placemats were made by 12 beneficiaries from Barangay Reparo in Nasugbu, Batangas. The beneficiaries created 120 placemats in two intricate designs which amounted to P11,000.