CORN has long been cultivated in abundance in San Jacinto for food and livestock but a new livelihood program may revolutionize corn growing not just for food consumption but as a viable source of raw materials for bag- and basket-manufacturing as well.
Fourth District Rep. Gina de Venecia, who introduced the Bayong and Corn –Husk Development Project in San Jacinto, said, “Corn husks that normally go to waste, can be fashioned into luxurious bags & baskets, and even moccasins to protect one’s feet.”
The lawmaker further envisions another use for the San Jacinto bayongs – as replacement for plastic bags.
“In view of the increasing environmental concerns against the use of plastic bags in grocery stores, the bayongs made of corn husks can be marketed as a viable replacement for plastic bags,” she said.
The bayong and bag-making in San Jacinto, which is funded by De Venecia and the Jaime Ongpin Foundation, is being carried out in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)–Pangasinan, the municipal government under Mayor Robert O. De Vera, and the San Jacinto Weavers Association led by its President, Sixto Aquino.
The program took off last month with a three-day seminar on basic skills training on cornhusk weaving. The second batch of participants will undergo training on October 23.
Some 120 families from San Jacinto are aimed to benefit from the project.
In the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the proponents, the participants will receive trainings on Basic Bayong Weaving; Dyeing Raw Materials, Skills Upgrading, and Intensive Product Design & Innovations.
After the trainings, tools and equipment will be supplied to the participants to start off the livelihood.
The beneficiaries will also be assisted in the designing and marketing of their products. The livelihood project also targets the local market and the balikbayans.