Want to know more about PH’s indigenous vegetables? DOST-PCAARRD relaunches info, education materials

Published February 22, 2021, 12:02 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Do you want to know  more about the country’s indigenous vegetables? 

Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) is ready to help you.

It has relaunched information, education and communication (EIC) materials for each of the following 15 indigenous vegetables: ‘Talinum,’ ‘Lubi-lubi,’ ‘Gabi,’ ‘Himababao,’ ‘Lagikway,’ ‘Talbos ng kamoteng kahoy,’ ‘Bawang gulay,’ ‘Ampalaya,’ ‘Pako,’ ‘Lasona gulay,’ ‘Rimas,’ ‘Ubod at puso ng saging, ‘Chipuho,’ ‘Labong,’ and ‘Alugbati.’ 

“These materials were produced to spark interest in the conservation, use, and production of the indigenous vegetables that can be found in different communities and that are already part of the Filipino food culture,” Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said in a report. 

He noted that the EIC materials were among the outputs of the project, “Documentation of Indigenous Vegetables in the Philippines”, implemented by the Institute of Crop Science (ICropS), College of Agriculture and Food Science of the University of the Philippines (UPLB).  

“The project gathered information on the traditional names, uses, occurrence, and distribution of indigenous vegetables obtained from 100 villages across following provinces: Abra, Batangas, Bohol, Bukidnon, Camarines Sur, Capiz, Davao del Sur, La Union, Leyte, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quezon, Siquijor, Rizal, South Cotabato, Surigao del Sur, and Zamboanga del Norte,” de la Peña said. 

The DOST Secretary said the ICropS-UPLB project documented 457 indigenous vegetables belonging to 255 genera and 90 families. 

“The project compiled 956 publications on indigenous vegetables of the Philippines,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the DOST-PCAARRD also relaunched the publication, “A Primer on Vegetable Gardening”, which is authored by academician Ruben L. Villareal. 

“It contains simple and precise information on vegetable gardening that discusses topics on requirements for a successful vegetable gardening including organic control of pests, vermicomposting, hydroponics, among others,” de la Peña said.

The  PCAARRD “intends to capacitate communities to produce their own vegetables and be self-sufficient, especially in this time of pandemic,” he stressed. 

Villareal is part of the National Academy of Science and Technology (DOST-NAST) and the current president of the Philippine Agriculture Resources Research Foundation, Inc. (PARRFI).  

VIllareal’s book is an updated revision of A Primer on Vegetable Gardening by Villareal, Shanmugasundaram, and Chadha first published in 1993 by the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center.