Manobo lumads launch first Sago palm flour enterprise

Friday, 21 October 2011


A group belonging to the Manobo tribe engaged in the commercial production of sago palm flour in the province since 2011.

The Kayumbyahan Sagu Manobo Corporation (KASAMACOR), a business enterprise of the Veruela-Sta. Josefa Ancestral Domain Management Organization (VESTA ADMO), was launched in Barangay Sampaguita, Veruela, Agusan del Sur.

Sago, known as lumbya among Manobos, is a starch extracted in the spongy center or pith, of various tropical palm such as sago palm (metroxylon sagu), which is found in tropical lowland forest and freshwater swamps across Southeast Asia.

The said plant naturally grow in more than 700 hectares of land in Veruela and Sta. Josefa, a Manobo ancestral territory.

The technology was developed by the Manobo community under the Caraga Indigenous Peoples Development Programme (IPDP-Caraga) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) with support from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). It is being implemented in partnership with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Municipal government of Veruela.

According to Veruela Mayor Salimar Mondejar, the project is part of the continuing effort of the Manobos themselves with the help and guidance of LGU Veruela to strengthen their individual and collective capacity for income and self employment generation in the context of the sustainable development and protection of their ancestral domain.

“Some say they are afraid that the raw materials may not be enough to supply the demand for production, but I want them to know that the sago palm naturally produce shoots fast, and there is no need to replant them,” Ikel Asuncion, chairman of the board of KASAMACOR said. “The group is also open to buying supply of raw materials from the neighboring barangays and municipalities where sago palm are also abundant.”

“I am very proud and happy that the lumads (natives) here have this kind of attitude, principles and initiatives to improve their quality of life. I am looking forward that this venture will flourish and become model of other municipalities to follow,” said Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza. “I am offering an additional P1 million as the provincial government initial financial assistance to this venture and another P1 million if the demand of supply of sago flour will increase,” he added.

According to Mayor Mondejar, the sago flour can be made into cookies, bread, noodles, ice cream cone and many others (PIA-Agusan del Sur).


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