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E-International Scientific Research Journal

Title: Optimizing returns from the use of cocoons for the Sericulture Industry
Name: Rodolfo G. Nillo and Antonio E. Madrid

The study was conducted to develop a set of strategies to optimize returns from the use of cocoons at the Sericulture Research and Development Institute (SRDI). Specifically, it aimed to: (a) determine the cocoon production constraints; (b) find out the most suitable utilization option that optimizes return; (c) determine the best utilization combination that would optimize return; and (d) develop valid set of strategies to sustain optimum cocoon product of strategies to sustain optimum cocoon product economic returns.

The study utilized the descriptive and developmental research design. The descriptive research design was used in the gathering and analysis of data and information generated from the research survey instrument formulated to draw the demographic profile and cocoon production economics of the sericulture/cocoon farmer respondents. The developmental research was utilized in the generation of an optimum linear model for cocoon utilization.

There were 15 cocoon producer respondents that were surveyed providing information on their cocoon production and economic profile. The respondents were selected from the sericulture farms in Bacnotan, La Union and La Trinidad, Benguet.

Frequency counts, means and percentage were applied in the analysis of data obtained from the research survey. Optimum linear modeling was used in the determination of the best maximum economic returns for sericulture farmers and cocoon producers.

Using the Quantitative Systems for Business (QSB) software, the input data were keyed in to generate the best cocoon utilization option or combination that would yield maximum net returns/profits.

The cocoon producer respondents were mostly male (86.67%); aged 21-60 years old with 33.33% of them belonging to the oldest group; were able to study from elementary to tertiary level but none was found to have finished a college degree. Farming was their main occupation with 93.33% of them doing jobs as farmers.

The cocoon production was reported to be 25-26 kg as the highest and 15.25 kg as the lowest. The average cocoon production was placed at 17.70 kg per season; selling price per kg was P 130-140 or P 135 on the average; labor time requirement before cocoon selling was 3.62 hours; and the average cost labor per day was found to be P 143.33.

Per kilogram production of raw silk from cocoons required 1.45 hours, cash capital or production cost of P 50.38 to realize a net income of P 3.62. Thrown silk could be produced on per kg basis in 4.89 hours, investment cost of P 1,895.00, and a net income of P 9,949.94. Silk fabric production required 60.98 hours, production cost of P 10,907, and net income of P 1,207.

The linear model analysis by way of objective function and constraints revealed that as to cocoon utilization/combination, the cocoons were sold after drying and sorting; and that the cocoons that were turned into novelty items were found to yield the maximum economic return. The quantity or amount of cocoons needed to be sold and to turn into novelty items were 22.63 kg and 0.52 kg for the maximum return of P 12,436.24.

Setting zero value to any cocoon utilization option determined the option combination for maximum returns generation. When no cocoons were sold, novelty items and silk fabric production were considered; only novelty items turned out to be the sole utilization option, allocated 0.53/kg, for a maximum net return of P 5,792.353. When novelty items were set to zero, cocoon production and sale option generated an income of P 6,930.00 for 23.33 kg input volume.

Set of strategies to sustain optimum cocoon economic return was proposed with the end in view of validating it by way of discrepancy analysis towards development of R&D enhancement intervention. The strategies include focusing on cocoon production and turning cocoon into novelty items for maximum net income generation; limiting silk fabric production in “no order, no production” scheme; and revisiting of past researches to identify failures and gaps allowing necessary research and development intervention to come into play.

The optimal linear model includes only the combination of selling cocoon option at 22.63 kg allocation and turning cocoon into novelty items option at 0.52 kg cocoon volume.

The best cocoon utilization option was the selling of cocoons after harvest, drying and sorting them. The production constraints identified include labor time to produce cocoons and other cocoon related utilization options and the production cost or capital necessary to undertake cocoon production activity. Set of strategies was proposed and evolved for validation in the field.

For the Sericulture Industry to generate maximum net income, it should focus on the production of cocoon for marketing and less attention to be given to silk fabric production, but has to continue producing novelty items as it adds to the increased net income of the Institute. Validation trail of the proposed set of strategies should be done to sustain optimal cocoon economic return.

The level of validity of the Strategies in Sustaining Optimum Return of Cocoon Products in terms of acceptability is partially accepted (3.96), functionability is partially functional (3.67) and attainability is partially attained (3.65).

Keywords: optimizing returns, cocoon products, sericulture industry

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