Improving Mulberry (Morus alba L.) Leaf Yield and Quality to Increase Silkworm Productivity in Northern Luzon, Philippines


Author(s): Mabel M. Caccam1 and Teodoro C. Mendoza2

Abstract

Cocoon silk, a high priced fabric, should be produced in large quantities to meet local and international demands using sustainable farming practices. To determine the effects of planting systems and agroecosystems manipulations on the mulberry growth, leaf yield, and quality for silk worm rearing, six agroecosystems manipulations using pit planting, organic manuring, inorganic fertilization, green and green leaf manuring were evaluated and the best alternative to increase production was selected.
Pit planting method and fertilized with any of the following: (1) 100-5050 kg NPK/ha + 10 tons manure + green manure + mulch (LEISAI); (2) 5050-50 kg NPK/ha + 10 tons manures + green + green leaf manure + mulch (LEISA II); and (3) 10 tons manure + green manure + green leaf manure + mulch (Organic Farming I) gave higher mulberry leaf yields (taller mulberry plants, longer shoots, heavier single leaf weights), higher protein contents, and acceptable range of moisture (high moisture contents for young-age worms and low moisture contents for late-age silkworms). The use of sustainable and organic farming techniques can be a good alternative to conventional farming to improve the productivity of sericulture farms.

Keywords : sericulture, agroecosystems, organic farming, low external input sustainable agriculture (LEISA), conventional agriculture, mulberry, pit planting method

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