Romblon agrarian reform beneficiaries are venturing into bamboo handicraft production as part of their livelihood activities.
The members of the Pagsangahan ARB Organization (PARBO) in Pagsangahan, Calatrava, Romblon, have received training and support from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in bamboo production skills and product development. The initiative, called Bamboo Handicraft Production for Community Based Enterprise in Romblon, follows a value chain approach.
Camilo Claro M. Pacquing, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II, explained that the project considers the entire production process, from sourcing raw materials to involving stakeholders in production, manufacturing, delivery, and marketing.
Pacquing expressed admiration for the ARB members’ willingness to engage in bamboo handicraft production, which provides them with an additional source of income beyond farming.
He said, “It is inspiring to observe that these men and women members of our ARBOs are willing to engage in bamboo handicraft production, a new product line where they can make an additional income aside from farming.”
In terms of furniture making, the DTI is focused on promoting not only the traditional use of bamboo poles but also the engineered approach to create higher-quality and premium products in the market.
Furthermore, farmers and farm workers are encouraged to sustain their bamboo growing livelihood activities due to the plant’s easy cultivation, resilience, and its ability to reduce soil erosion and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Following the training, the participants quickly enhanced their weaving skills, and the members of PARBO collaborated with each other to create various beautiful bamboo products.