Inmates from Cabadbaran City District Jail using rice straw and sawdust in formulating mushroom substrates.

Persons deprived of liberty (PDL) from the Cabadbaran City District Jail in Agusan del Norte are being upskilled in mushroom propagation and cultivation as a livelihood source. 

“The knowledge and skills gained by our PDL in this three-year partnership with DA-PhilRice Agusan will help them in their reintegration into society, particularly in earning income and supporting their families outside of our bureau’s custody,” Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Jail Warden Melba Balmore said.

The first session on Oct. 25 introduced mushroom technology, cultivation, propagation, culture media preparation, spawn or fruiting bag preparation and inoculation, substrate processing and formulation using rice straw and sawdust.

Joel, 34, expressed his gratitude saying that the training showed a step-by-step technique, which they could easily follow.

“Not only do we earn money, but we can also be assured that the food we eat is safe,” he said.

The BJMP-District received 200 pieces of oyster mushroom fruiting bags on Dec. 7 from the station for the full implementation of oyster mushroom production in the facility using rice straw and sawdust as substrate.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute