DAVAO CITY – Women farmers in the municipality of Santo Niño in South Cotabato province found a new way to use rice straws.
A Facebook post by Masipag Mindanao sharing the works of the women farmers last week went viral as many netizens praised the ingenuity of the local farmers.
“Farmers are true innovators. Check out this Eco-Bag made by our organic farmers from Santo Niño South Cotabato,” Masipag Mindanao said in its post on Friday, February 19. The post has so far garnered over 30,000 reactions and 25,000 shares.
Masipag Mindanao said the eco bags were made from rice straws, “which is the vegetative part of the rice plant (Oryza sativa L.), cut at grain harvest or after.”
“It may be left on the field before the next plowing, plowed down as a soil improver, or used as a feed for livestock,” it added.
But the group said women members of Peoples Action for Liberative Agricultural Industry (PALAI) found a new use for their surplus rice straws by turning them into eco-bags.
“This may be crude but it showcases creative innovations farming communities are capable of,” it added.
Jethel Kapunan, PALAI Chairperson said “initiatives such as this will be of great help to rice farmers who are still experiencing the impacts of Rice Liberalization.”
Masipag Mindanao said the bags are sold at P35 each and are available in different sizes.
“You can directly send your queries to our farmers via Mr. Joffrey Jofax Frinal (Masipag BOT Member) or Mrs. Herminia Beramo Fabay Kapunan,” it added.
Masipag is a farmer-led network of people’s organizations, non-government organizations and scientists advocating for sustainable use and management of natural resources.