How to Collect Indigenous Micro Organisms (IMO)

Number of Days to Collect: 10 to 14 days

Things Needed

  • Wooden Box
  • 1 kilo of Cooked Rice
  • 1 kilo of Molasses
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • 2 Strings
  • Jar

How to Collect

  1. Place the Cooked Rice inside the wooden box.
  2. Cover the wooden box with paper then tie it with a string.
  3. Cover again the wooden box with plastic then tie it with a string.
  4. Place it in a forest or where there is a lot of bamboo or where there is vegetation.
  5. Cover with leaves.
  6. Leave it for 3-7 days.
  7. Get the wooden container. There should be molds now on top of the rice.
  8. Empty the kilo of rice in a jar with the molds.
  9. Add the kilo of molasses in the jar and mix.
  10. Cover the jar with paper then tie with a string.
  11. Leave it to culture/ferment for 7 days in a cool and dry place. Away from the sun and the rain.
  12. After 7 days, there will be a muddy solution inside the jar. The muddy solution has the IMOs mixed with it.
  13. For storage keep the jar in a cool and dry place. Away from the sun and the rain. Keep the jar closed with paper so that the IMO solution could breathe.

Where to Collect

  • Forests areas
  • Areas where there is a lot of bamboo
  • Vegetative area
  • You can also collect in beaches where there are trees or plants growing

Different locations collects different Indigenous Micro Organisms with different characteristics. It is advised that you collect from different locations.


Rice to Molasses Ration

  • The advisable ratio of Rice to Molasses is 1:1. For 1 kiloe of Rice there should be 1 kilo of molasses.

Wooden Box

  • The bigger the area of the box the better since the bigger the area of the rice is exposed to air the more you can collect IMO. Just have it as big as it should be.
  • The advisable size is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches (short bond paper size)
  • Any wood will do as long as it was not treated with chemicals.
  • You can also use a section of a bamboo. This will look like a water container. Place the rice inside and cover with paper and plastic.
  • You can also use plastic and glass containers in substitute as a wooden box. Be sure that it is clean and chemical free by washing it with water.


  • Seriously?!? This is not readily available in the market in the Philippines.
  • A good subsitute is brown sugar. The browner the sugar the better.
  • Do not use white sugar.
  • You do not have to mix the brown sugar with water to make it wet. The brown sugar will melt due to the heat produced by the fermentation process.


  • Any kind of paper as long as it could cover your wooden box.
  • The readily available paper to almost all places in the Philippines is newspaper.


  • This will prevent the rain from getting into the rice.


  • Many times this could get loose. Use a rubber band instead.
  • This will also prevent ants and other insects from entering.

Number of Days for Cooked Rice to Collect

  • 3 days if the temperature of the location is hot or humid.
  • 7 days if the temperature of the location is cool or dry.


  • If jars are too expensive or are not readily available in your location you can use plastic water containers.


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