Tiger Grass Farming and Broom Making

Tiger grass farming is a lucrative business venture used in the production of brooms. Common to upland communities the rugged grass is spread throughout the world. 
It has economic and ecological significance on fauna and water retention. The grass could constitute the main crop or grown alongside other trees and root crops. One of the major producers of tiger grass is the Philippines.
Ecological Importance of Tiger Grass
The economic importance of tiger grass includes prevention of erosion, environmental friendly livelihood. Other attributes include rehabilitation of degraded areas, good cover crop, minimizes run off soil and provisions of raw materials.
Farm land
The average farm land you need is 1 hectare of land. You can lease or purchase farm land in a rural community.
The price of such landed property is usually low and affordable than urban property. You could plant only tiger grass or introduce root crops and palay.
The best location for the grass plantation is medium high elevated property. Ideal locations are logged over areas and hillsides slopes.
tiger grass
Site Preparation
 Site preparation involves clearing the area using direct labor. If you intend growing other agricultural crops spot clear to intersperse.
An effective planting method is contour planting. Dig a 3m deep, 3cm hole and 1.5mx 1.5m spacing for full cropping or 4mx4m to inter-plant root crops.
To reduce mortality of planting stock avoid direct sunlight and plant immediately. The best planting season is during the rains and plant 3 suckers per hole.
Planting and Fertilizing
You only need to fertilize the soil once a year for maximum yield. Makes sure you use only organic fertilizer.
Introduce integrated pest control systems to prevent pest infestation. Weed yearly and replace decaying and dead grass.
Harvesting
Harvesting is usually done last 3 months towards the years end. The farmer should harvest his crop when they attain 70 cm in length.
Harvesting is done by cutting the panicles with a sharp tool. The panicles are then gathered, sun dried for 3 days.
During the drying process the grass should be periodically turned to achieve uniform dryness. Once dry you shake to dislodge stones, wood, shrubs and seeds.
Starting a Cassava Farm
Making the Broom
Broom making is simple and straight forward and requires basic materials. The process is labor intensive and the farmer arranges 105 panicles for each broom.
Raw Materials
To make each broom you need a bundle 105 panicles. Other materials are split rattan, plastic string, tie wire and wooden stick.
  • split rattan
  • plastic string
  • tie wire
  • wooden stick
  • panicles
Broom Production
The broom production process involves using a bundle consisting of 105 panicles for maximum size. The procedure starts with sorting the panicles according to length.
The spikelets are sheared to achieve a consistent length. Tie the sheared spikelet’s to stem to present proportionate broom thickness.
Use some of the stalk as a handle, add tightly bound spikelet into 5-6 bundles and bind together into a big bundle. The next procedure is to tightly bind together the stalk with your tie wire.
This will form the handle of the broom. Use the wood stick if you intend building a stick handle. Bind the stick together with the panicles. You could decorate the handle with split rattan or plastic to brand the product.
Cost Considerations
The average tiger grass farmer earns from $440-$2565 per year. The length of farming experience ranges from 10-35 years.
You can plant tiger grass with root plants and coconut. The annual expense is low and determinant on size of farm land.
Marketing
Brooms are an essential commodity in most homes. They are ideal for sweeping and clearing our environment of dirt and debris.
Brooms are sold retail in shops and small stalls. The price depends on the size, decoration and pervading prices in your locality.

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