September 2012 - Federation of Free Farmers



September 2012 - Federation of Free Farmers
41 Highland Drive, Blue Ridge, 1109 Quezon City, Philippines
(632) 647 1093 | FAX (632) 647 1451 | e-mail [email protected] |
Taon 3, Sipi Blg. 9
FFF BioFarming Network
September 2012
held at the Monte Vista Hotspring & Conference Resort, on August 25-30, 2012
featuring 5 delicious recipes
Pictorials from National Assestment
Conference @ Monte Vista Resort,
June 25-30, 2012
41 Highland Drive, Blue Ridge, 1109 Quezon City, Philippines
(632) 647 1093 | FAX (632) 647 1451 | e-mail [email protected] |
DOST pushes urban agriculture
By Marigold P. Lebumfacil/FPL (The Freeman) Updated August 01, 2012 12:00 AM
CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has introduced Urban Agricultureas an
economic environmental and
quality of life improvement opportunity during a three-day
Science and Technology Conference at the DOST S&T Complex in Sudlon, Lahug.
Urban Agriculture means to
shorten the scarcity of vegetables by growing vegetables inCagayan De Oro
tensively within the city limits. As a result it generates resilient new businesses within the community
while improving the urban environment & our quality of life.
Urban agriculture is done by substituting the large scale low labor, distant agriculture dependent on high transportation and distribution costs by small scale
labor intensive, local, bio-intensive vegetable farming capitalizing on underused local resources: land, labor and organic material.
The four types of urban gardens / farms include the individual backyard gardens, community gardens, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and the
commercial farms.
Urban Agriculture has economic, environmental and educational benefits as
Among the economic benefits of urban
agriculture is that it creates direct and
indirect jobs, it creates income that stays
in the community, it transforms “yard
waste” into a valued resource and reduces trucking disposal expenses. It improves home values near or with gardens, it adds value to public or private
marginal land and it adds economic resilience to the community and builds
“hometown security”.
It also has environmental benefits wherein it preserves the city’s organic capital, it retains moisture and reduces water runoff, cool off, and it sets improvement examples and enriches the soil and creates new, richer habitats.
It also creates neighborhood improvement. Esthetics and outdoor activity,
builds community, crime reduction, it reduces lawns and associated costs / pol-
According to statistics, 15 to 20% of the food consumed in the world is grown in
an urban environment worldwide with 800 million people involved in it.
Other countries like United Kingdom and China practiced urban agriculture. UK
employs 3,000 urban farmers while Shanghai, China produces 60% of the city’s
vegetables, 100% of the milk, 90% of the eggs, and 50% of the pork and poultry
Among DOST’s proposed objectives in implementing urban agriculture are to
turn yard waste into a valuable resource and minimize disposal costs, improve
our local economy resilience, food independence and jobs, build “hometown security” by creating small businesses & retain financial resources in the city, improve quality of life, health, esthetics, safety, healthy entertainment, gardening
therapy, improve education, outdoor class rooms for the young and old and at
the same time improve the community’s environment.
Among the speakers during the conference which started yesterday were Joan
Jaque, who talked about Hydroponics, Green Curtains and Wall Gardens, Philip
Cruz, who talked on Growing Herbs and Spices and Antonio Arnejo, from the
UPLB Foundation Inc., who discussed about Using Science to Maximize Urban
Gardens. — (FREEMAN)
First-world agriculture, third-world poverty
By Maria Eleanor E. Valeros (The Freeman) Updated August 22, 2012
CEBU, Philippines - No sugar coating.
This is how filmmaker Jay Abello would want to serve to the audience of the 1st
Cebu Documentary FilmFestival recently his three-years-in-the-making fulllength (90 minutes) documentary film on the struggling sugar industry in the
island of Negros and how a piece of crystallized grain could affect an island of
three million people.
Contrary to the impression
that hacienderos (owners
of vast sugarcane plantations like his family) almost always are oppressive
to the sacadas (migrant
fa rm
w o rk ers )
an d
dumaans (resident farm
workers), Abello finds every sacada's and every
dumaan's story important
to unravel how Negros Island wallowed in third- JAY ABELLO (left) shoots the docu in an abandoned sugarworld poverty despite first- cane field in Negros.
world agriculture.
The docu on the sugar industry started as a video project. "I don't do negative
films. Having grown up inIsabela (Silay, Negros Occidental), I initially thought
it's the best place to grow up, that Negros is the place in the country, and that
we were special," he shared.
"I even think of it to be easy because I know Negros very, very well. I was wrong.
When I started work on the project, the first person I interviewed was my dad.
And at 37, it was the first time somebody has ever told me about the real story of
Negros, what it's like when you're called an haciendero. I didn't like it. I became
critical about my pride for Negros and in being a Negrense. What is there to be
proud of, really?"
Abello even warned the audience that his very first docu (Pureza: The Story of
Negros Sugar) is a "hard movie to watch - long and heavy - but nevertheless
very important. If you get to the first 50 minutes of the film, you will be fine."
Abello is an industry disciple who has worked on over 25 feature films in
the Philippines, countless TV shows including soap operas and TV commercials
in a span of 10 years.
A movie fan by heart, he describes the movie set as "one of the most romantic
places you can ever be in. You're in the middle of nowhere and you have all these lights and production people trying to make something out of nothing and it's
a new world altogether."
He also believes that he is a film student at best and has always travelled
and accepted projects based on this --"I just want to learn more about film."
He has made of himself a dedicated
filmmaker and cinematographer on
production experience working under
five different highly acclaimed directors (Erik Matti, Yam Laranas, Peque
Gallaga, Lau ri c e Gu illen , an d
Mark Meily), paying his dues as property master to co-writer (Sa Huling
Paghihintay and Dos Ekis in 2001 both
released by Viva Films) and as assistant
director in the course of seven years.
By 2002, he moved to television as
floor director to three of the top rated
television series (Ang Iibigin ay Ikaw,
Te Amo, and Mulawin) under GMA-7
Network Television.
Abello's works are testimonies as to
how much he values his light and composition. He took photography lessons via a correspondence course at the New
York Institute of Photography in 1997 and has become an avid hobbyist since.
In 2003, he started apprenticing under Lee Meily for cinematography in television commercials and one feature film. A love for telling stories has lent existence to two of his best known short films 7-Cut (1998, writer/director/producer)
and Beinte Siete (2004, writer/director/producer). Both are winners in the Crystal Piaya for Best Picture in the Negros Summer Workshops.
By May 2006, he attended the digital photography workshop at The Newberry
Library in Chicago, Illinois; feature film lighting workshops in Rockport College,
Rockport, Maine by July; and the Kodak 16mm cinematography workshop by
After his first feature film (as director/producer/co-writer) Ligaw Liham in 2007
(Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival), he went on to do mostly cinematography work for Mark Meily (Camera Café and You Women); Joanna Vasquez
Arong (Amihan, Team Los Indios, Philippines for the International Documentary
Challenge); Coreen Jimenez (Kano: The American and his Harem, a full-feature
documentary, Arkeo Films) and directed a TV show Hush Hush for TV5.
His second film Namets! (Yummy) which he directed, produced and did associate photography for was also a finalist in the 2008 Cinemalaya Festival.
He has the following nominations to various award-giving bodies: Best Cinematography for Niño (2012, Golden Screen Award shared with Lee Meily); Digital
Movie Cinematographer of the Year for Donor (2011, Star Awards); Best Cinematography for Brutus (2009, Gawad Urian);
Best Cinematography for Brutus (2008, Cinemalaya); and Bamboo Award for Ligaw Liham (2007, Kidlat Tahimik).
Pureza opened the four-day filmfest at Onstage in Ayala Center Cebu. Pureza is
his bitter-sweet take on the industry that once catapulted Negros to the third spot
for having manufactured the best sweetener/preservative in the world (after Java
that's next to Cuba on the list). Pureza refers to that degree of sweetness in refined sugar that's of the perfect quality.
After 150 interviews and three years in making this film, he found out how well
people can articulate situations and solutions to current and emerging challenges
in the sugar industry. Yet, the sacadas and the dumaans continue to wallow in
debt, in poverty.
He shares in the theory that the government is not even totally to blame for. "The
problem is more cultural. The good life the workers have long dreamt of cannot
be achieved by one farmer alone. The majority has to stand." (FREEMAN)
China, ASEAN to strengthen cooperation in agriculture
( Updated August 28, 2012
NANNING (Xinhua) - China and ASEAN countries will bring highquality agricultural products to south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region from Sep. 21 to 25 to deepen exchange and cooperation in agricultural technologies.
China and ASEAN countries will
promote cooperation in agricultural technologies, including those
related to cultivation, manufacture, research and development,
seeding, pesticide and fertilizer,
said the secretariat of the ninth
China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO),
which will start on Sept. 21 in the
regional capital of Nanning.
The secretariat said 600 booths will be set up for the expo to display modern agricultural technologies, as well as livestock and food products from China and
ASEAN countries.
So far, 360 enterprises from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as
well as ten ASEAN countries, have applied for the booths, up 26 percent from a
year earlier.
The expo is expected to attract more than 110,000 businessmen and customers,
the secretariat said.
CAEXPO, hosted by the trade and economic organizations and departments of
China and ASEAN countries, has been held annually since 2004.
Department of Agriculture eyes corn exports
By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) Updated August 30, 2012
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is considering the
commercial exportation of corn as early as this year to take advantage
of high corn prices caused by the drought in the United States, the leading corn
producer worldwide.
Agriculture assistant secretary and national
corn program director Edilberto de Luna
said an interagency committee composed
of industry stakeholders and concerned agriculture bureaus is preparing a recommendation to the National Food Authority
(NFA) council. The applicable export volume for possible exportation would still be
“If we can export even a small volume, it
will be good for the industry,” he said.
For 2012, the government expects to attain
a corn sufficiency level of 98 percent with a
deficit of 179,000 metric tons (MT) .
For 2013, the government intends to raise corn yield to 8.4 MMT. By next year,
the government aims to attain a sufficiency level of 101 percent with a surplus of
149,000 MT.
De Luna said they were advised by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala not to
wait anymore for a surplus in production.
“We might as well allow exportation of a small volume this year to test the market,” he said.
Department of Agriculture identifying
rice varieties for export
By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) Updated August 30, 2012
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is
in the process of identifying rice varietiesthat may be exported following the pronouncement of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala that the
Philippines would begin to export rice next year.
Agriculture assistant secretary
and national rice program coordinator Dante Delima said the DA is looking at traditional rice varieties such as
colored rice (black, red, pink, brown and purple), aromatic white rice and long
grain white rice.
“We cannot compete in the exportation of ordinary rice so we must focus on premium rice,” he said, “But our premium rice can be competitive because we have
varieties that they don’t have, like our heirloom rice from Banaue. Right now, we
have to carefully select the varieties so we can make sure that these are one of a
kind in the market.”
Aside from identifying rice varieties
that could be exported, Delima said
the Bureau of Agricultural Research
(BAR) is working on establishing
a traceability system for rice varieties
within the year.
“We want to be able to trace the
product at the farm level. We want
these to really come from their place of origin,” he said.
A rice traceability system would enable the Philippines to use a geographical
origin (GI) branding scheme.
So-called GI brands fetch a higher value in the market because it has characteristics influenced by its geographical origin such as climate, soil, and culture. The
Intellectual Property office of the Philippines earlier said that GI brands usually
have an eight percent added value.
In line with this, premium rice for export may also be registered in the Madrid
Protocol – to which the Philippines recently acceded --to protect their trademarks in 84 other countries.
Among the markets the government is eyeing for rice exports are
the Middle East and Indiafor long grain and aromatic rice varieties; United
States, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong for colored and heirloom rice varieties;
and European countries such a United Kingdom, Netherlands and Belgium.
Delima said that if preparations are finished within the first and second quarter
of the year, exportation may commence in the third or fourth year.
The government is also laying the groundwork for compliance with the organic
growing requirements under Eurostandard.
He noted that the
process may take at
least one year.
Delima noted that
Belgium are particularly interested in
alternative rice varieties.
De Lima said that
the government is
working on partnerCooked Heirloom Rice
ships with the private sector for the packaging and marketing of rice for export.
“Our strategy is to seek the help of the private sector or expand their market,” he
said, “We will support them rather than do it on our own. This will be easier.”
Prices of agriculture products stable
By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) Updated September 05, 2012
MANILA, Philippines - Prices of agricultural productss in public markets are still
consistent with the price levels at the
successive weather disturbances that hit the
country last month, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).
According to the Sept. 3 price monitoring
most agricultural products in wet markets
were consistent with price levels the week
of Aug. 2, the height of torrential rains
brought by typhoon Gener and the southwest monsoon.
Prices of rice was relatively stable at P27 per kilo for NFA well-milled rice, P30 for regular milled rice, P35 for well-milled rice, P42 for fancy commercial and P60 for fancy
rice. The price levels were consistent with the same period last year.
A sharp increase in fish prices, however, were noted as fishermen postpone fishing trips
due to bad weather.
Prevailing prices of galunggong were P130 per kilo, lower by P10 from the previous
week but still higher than P120 per kilo in the same period last year. Tilapia now retails
for P100 per kilo from P80 per kilo in the same period last year.
Bangus prices were seen at P120 per kilo since Aug. 2, up from P90 per kilo in the same
period last year.
Meat prices were stable as only minimal damage to livestock was reported during the
weather disturbances. Pork liempo retails for PP180 per kilo while beef rump retails for
P260 per kilo. Prices of other meat cuts were consistent with prices in the same period
last year.
Poultry prices as of Sept. 3 were likewise stable. Whole chicken retails for P10 per kilo
while chicken egg retails for P4.5 apiece.
Sharp increases were likewise seen in vegetables. The price of cabbage is especially high
at P100 per kilo from P40 per kilo on Aug. 2. The price of sitaw also rose to P70 per kilo
from only P50 as of Aug. 2. Amargoso is still high at P70 per kilo from P80 the previous
week and P50 as of Aug. 2.
As of Sept. 3 lakatan banana retails for P40 per kilo, up from P35 last year.
Retail prices of sugar are higher from last year’s level as of Sept. 3. For almost a month
now, refined sugar retails for P50 per kilo from P35 in the same period last year. Brown
sugar retails for P40 per kilo same as last year.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said food prices are slowly normalizing but is taking a while because some middlemen are still taking advantage of post-typhoon damages. “Food prices are now slowly normalizing. The problem was, because of the bad
weather, some middlemen are still finding ways to raise prices,” he said.
BAS said the supply of rice, sugar, cooking oil, meat products and chicken remain sufficient.
Study questions how much better organic
food is
(The Philippine Star) Updated September 04, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — Patient after patient
asked: Is eating organic food, which costs more,
really better for me?
Unsure, Stanford University doctors dug
through reams of research to find out — and
concluded there's little evidence that going organic is much healthier, citing only a few differences involving pesticides and antibiotics.
Eating organic fruits and vegetables can lower
exposure to pesticides, including for children —
from conventionally grown produce was within
safety limits, the researchers reported Monday.
Nor did the organic foods prove more nutritious.
This March 16, 2011, file photo shows organic radishes at the Pacifica Farmers Market in Pacifica, Calif. Patient after patient
asked: Is eating organic food, which costs
more, really better for me? Unsure, Stanford
University doctors dug through reams of
research to find out _ and concluded there's
little evidence that going organic is much
healthier, citing only a few differences involving pesticides and antibiotics. Eating
organic fruits and vegetables can lower
exposure to pesticides, including for children
- but the amount measured from conventionally grown produce was within safety limits,
the researchers reported Monday, Sept. 3,
2012. (AP Photo, File)
"I was absolutely surprised," said Dr. Dena
Bravata, a senior research affiliate at Stanford
and long-time internist who began the analysis
because so many of her patients asked if they
should switch.
"There are many reasons why someone might
choose organic foods over conventional foods,"
from environmental concerns to taste preferences, Bravata stressed. But when it comes to individual health, "there isn't much difference."
Her team did find a notable difference with antibiotic-resistant germs, a public health concern
because they are harder to treat if they cause
food poisoning.
Specialists long have said that organic or not, the chances of bacterial contamination of food are the same, and Monday's analysis agreed. But when bacteria did
lurk in chicken or pork, germs in the non-organic meats had a 33 percent higher
risk of being resistant to multiple antibiotics, the researchers reported Monday in
the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
That finding comes amid debate over feeding animals antibiotics, not because
they're sick but to fatten them up. Farmers say it's necessary to meet demand for
cheap meat. Public health advocates say it's one contributor to the nation's growing problem with increasingly hard-to-treat germs. Caroline Smith
DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest,
counted 24 outbreaks linked to multidrug-resistant germs in food between 2000
and 2010.
The government has begun steps to curb the nonmedical use of antibiotics on the
Organic foods account for 4.2 percent of retail food sales, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. It certifies products as organic if they meet certain
requirements including being produced without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers,
or routine use of antibioticsor growth hormones.
Consumers can pay a lot more for some organic products but demand is rising:
Organic foods accounted for $31.4 billion sales last year, according to a recent
Obama administration report. That's up from $3.6 billion in 1997.
The Stanford team combed through thousands of studies to analyze the 237 that
most rigorously compared organic and conventional foods. Bravata was dismayed
that just 17 compared how people fared eating either diet while the rest investigated properties of the foods themselves.
Organic produce had a 30 percent lower risk of containing detectable pesticidelevels. In two studies of children, urine testing showed lower pesticide levels in those on organic diets. But Bravata cautioned that both groups harbored very small amounts — and said one study suggested insecticide use in their
homes may be more to blame than their food.
Still, some studies have suggested that even small pesticide exposures might be
risky for some children, and the Organic Trade Association said the Stanford
work confirms that organics can help consumers lower their exposure.
CSPI's DeWaal noted that difference, but added that the issue is more complicated. Some fruits and vegetables can harbor more pesticide residue than others —
she listed peaches from Chile as topping a recent testing list. Overall levels have
dropped in North American produce over the last decade as farms implemented
some new standards addressing child concerns, she said.
"Parents with young children should consider where their produce is coming
from," DeWaal said, calling types grown in the U.S. or Canada "a safer bet" for
lower pesticide levels.
As for antibiotics, some farms that aren't certified organic have begun selling antibiotic-free meat or hormone-free milk, to address specific consumer demands,
noted Bravata. Her own preference is to buy from local farmers in hopes of getting the ripest produce with the least handling.
That kind of mixed approach was evident in a market in the nation's capital
Thursday, where Liz Pardue of Washington said she buys organic "partially for
environmental reasons." Pardue said she doesn't go out of her way to shop organic, but if she does, it's to buy mostly things that are hard to wash like berries and
Michelle Dent of Oxon Hill, Md., said she buys most of her groceries from regular
chain stores but gets her fruit from organic markets: "It's fresh; you can really
taste it."
Anna Hamadyk of Washington said she buys only organic milk because she has a
young son.
Philippines will start exporting Beautiful
Rice to Europe & US
A T F R I D A Y , S E P T E M B E R 0 7 , 2 0 1 2 PHILSTAR
Although it will continue to import commercial rice as part of its buffer stock, the
Philippines will start exporting quality
rice varieties to selected markets abroad
next year.
According to Assistant Secretary Dante
Delima of the Department of Agriculture,
the country would be exporting traditional rice varieties such as colored rice
(black, red, pink, brown and purple) , aromatic white rice, and long grain white
The Philippine beautiful Rice for exports
local demand is low compare to ordinary
rice with a higher demand in the other countries such as:
Pink Rice
Red Rice
Purple Rice
Brown Rice
Black Rice
Aromatic White Rice
Long grain white rice
Delima, the head of the government's national rice program, said that the Philippines cannot compete in the exportation of ordinary rice so it will focus on premium rice which can be competitive because these varieties cannot be found in other
Among the markets the Philippine government is eyeing for its rice exports are the
Middle East and India for long grain and aromatic rice varieties; the United States,
Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong for colored and heirloom rice varieties; and the
European countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
According to Delima, the Netherlands and Belgium are particularly interested in
alternative rice varieties.
Delima said that the government would seek the help of the private sector in the
rice exportation business. "We will support them rather than do it ourselves. This
would be easier," he said.
Earlier Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has assured the public that the Philippines will attain rice self-sufficiency next year despite the damage wrought by the
successive typhoons and the massive flooding that hit the country during the last
few weeks.
Alcala said that the current rice production of the country is enough to feed the 90
million or so Filipinos.
The government will also keep its cap on rice importation at 100,000 metric tons
(MT) in 2013 if rice production target is met this year.
The DA has recently readjusted its 2012 rice production target to 17.8 MT from
18.4 million MT.
The 2012 target tonnage would place the
country's sufficiency level at 95 percent.
The sufficiency level in 2011 was 94 percent.
Delima said that the government had already made provisions for typhoon-related
losses in rice production tonnage in 2013's
importation forecast.
The country should achieve rice selfsufficiency by 2013 with a target output of 20.04 million MT. By 2014, rice production is expected to reach 21 million MT with 22 million MT projected for 2015
and 2016.
"The effect of that (rice self-sufficiency) will be felt in 2014 wherein the government will no longer import rice," Delima said.
The Philippines is also studying the possibility of exporting yellow corn this year
to take advantage of high grain prices brought about by the worst drought in US
DA Assistant Secretary Edilberto de Luna, who is also the director of the national
corn program, said that an inter-agency committee has been created to review the
appeal of the Philippine Maize Federation Inc. for the commercial export of corn.
The Philippines expects corn production to reach a record-high of 7.819 million
metric tons this year and about 8.450 million by 2013. By next year, the DA expects the country to have a surplus of 149,000 metric tons.
According to de Luna, they have already advised Secretary Alcala not to wait for
the surplus but to start exporting rice, even in small amount "to test the international market".
Aside from the United States, the country is also eyeing Taiwan and South Korea
as possible markets for corn.
Agriculture analysts have said that corn exports would not result in a shortage in
the local market since the 1.4 million metric tons of feed-wheat, imported earlier
by feed millers, will be enough to cover the requirement for this year.
As a member of the World Trade Organization, the Philippines is also free to export rice and corn to any part of the world.
East-West's Ampalaya In Other Countries
The current business strategy of vegetable seed producer East-West Seed Company is to promote its developed hybrids in other countries that love to eat tropical
The fellow that has been assigned to develop new markets abroad, especially for
its ampalaya and papaya, is Ric Reyes who sports the title of “Combination Market Development Manager.”
India is one country that has been responding beautifully to the introduction of
improved ampalaya developed by East-West Seed plant breeders in the Philippines.
Reyes explains that the
Indians prefer the variety
that has prominent
spines. Sometimes, it is
called warty ampalaya.
The Indians have their
own traditional spiny variety. When Palee, the
improved spiny variety
developed by East-West
Seed, was introduced a
few years ago, the farmers were reluctant to shift
to the East-West hybrid,
according to Reyes.
Burmese bitter gourd grower (left) shows the fruit of
Palee to Ric Reyes in his farm in Hmawbi, Yangon
However, when some province, Yanmar. Palee is now a favorite in Burma.
farmers have tried it and
the variety yielded as
much as 300 percent more
than the traditional variety,
Palee has become an instant favorite. One of the
farmers who is very happy
with Palee is Rama Murthy
of DbPhur in Bangalore. He
has been planting Palee for
the past four seasons and in
the last cropping season he
got 21 tons per acre which
is about 4,000 square meters.
Indian farmer Rama Murthy (right) showing fruit of Palee bitter
gourd which has prominent spines. This is now a favorite in India.
Murthy grossed from that area a total of 168,000 rupees
equivalent to P126,000 in
Philippine money. He spent
only the equivalent of
P30,000 for seeds, labor, fertilizer and crop protection
From his four acres or about
1.6 hectares, Murthy estimated his net income at the
equivalent of P384,000.
From his income from ampalaya, Murthy has been able to
Ric Reyes (right) with Indian farmer showing fruit of the white provide the family’s needs
Maya bitter gourd that's becoming popular in India.
and pay for all his loans.
Most farmers in Bangalore,
according to Ric Reyes, plant
ampalaya because of the high
income it gives. Planting is
done year-round and the
farmers use granite slabs for
trellising. Granite is abundant
and is cheap in Bangalore.
Granite slabs, 9 feet long and 1
foot wide, are ideal for trellising. Two feet is buried in the
ground. Watering is done by
drip irrigation which is cheap
because it is subsidized by the
The Kiew Yok 16 bitter gourd (ampalaya) preferred in Thailand,Vietnam and China. It is light-green with big fruits, 680
grams each.
One other variety that was
introduced by East-West in
India is a white version of
Palee called Maya. The fruits
are spindle-shaped with thick
spines that do not easily get
damaged during transport.
More and more farmers in
India are discovering the
good income potential from
white ampalaya since it commands a higher price than
the green variety.
A farmer that Ric Reyes interviewed said that he gets a premium of 4 to 8 rupees
per kilo over the green spiny variety. He sells his white ampalaya at the equivalent
of P19.50 per kilo.
Meanwhile, the Palee variety is also becoming a favorite of Burmese farmers, according to Ric Reyes. One of the satisfied farmers he met was U Soe Oo of Hmwabi, Yangon province.
The farmers in Myanmar like the excellent fruit setting of Palee as well as its tolerance to downy mildew disease. The fruit is also well liked by consumers.
Farmer U Soe Oo said he grossed the equivalent of P43,298 from 4,000 square
meters or one acre he planted to Palee. He only spent about P16,800 to produce
that amount.
In Thailand, Vietnam and China, East-West is also active in promoting ampalaya
varieties but these are the light-colored ones. That’s because it is the color preferred by these markets.
There’s a vast market awaiting development for East-West Seed. Ric Reyes says
that they are not only promoting their varieties. They are also disseminating management technologies to help farmers produce more income so they will continue
planting more vegetables developed by East-West.
In Africa, meanwhile, Ric Reyes relates that the low-growing Red Royale papaya
developed by East-West is now a favorite in Kenya.
And in Vietnam, the Suprema squash, long a favorite in the Philippines is on the
way to becoming No.1.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, East-West Seed is preparing for its 30thanniversary celebration in December. Aside from the big celebration at the company’s
headquarters in San Rafael, Bulacan, in December, there will be a road show in
each region starting this October.
It means that a showcase of the company’s varieties planted in a demo farm will be
put up in each region and farmers will be invited to a field day. The most outstanding vegetable grower in the region will also be named and given an award.
A total out 30 outstanding vegetable farmers will be named during the grand celebration next December.
Mama Sita in Bacolod
The beautiful lady here is Rosaline Tan who visited May's Organic Garden and
Restaurant in Pahanocoy, Bacolod City on September 14-16, 2012.
She is posing with a dwarf Mama Sita banana in the 5.3-hectare organic farm being developed into a tourist destination by the husband and wife team of Ramon
and May Uy.
The Mama Sita banana was brought to the Philippines by the Mama Sita Foundation, multiplied and tested in the Philippines through the involvement of National
Scientist Ben Vergara and the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Aquatic Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).
The Mama Sita banana is now a favorite of both big and small scale planters because it produces fruits with excellent eating quality. It is also early maturing.
Suckers will bear fruit in 8 months. Because it is low-growing, it is more resistant
to strong winds than the tall Saba variety.
Marvin & Pia Velayo in May's Organic
Marvin Velayo and his darling wife Pia check the basil
and other culinary herbs at the greenhouse of May's
Organic Garden and Restaurant in Bacolod City.
May's Organic Garden and Restaurant in Pahanocoy, Bacolod City boasts a wide
variety of culinary herbs that include basil, parsley, tarragon, chives, broccoli, stevia, lemon grass, asitaba and many others.
May's Organic Garden and Restaurant is a project of Ramon and May Uy who are
developing the place into a tourist destination where they can eat organically
grown food, and also view how they grow their vegetables and ornamental plants.
They plant fragrant rice (Pandan variety), sweet corn, banana and many more.
Dragon Fruit Expert to Talk at QC
DR. TEDDY F. TEPORA, the director of Extension Services at the Cavite State University
in Indang, Cavite, will talk on dragon fruit
production on Saturday, October 20 at the
Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.
He is one of the experts invited by the Cactus
& Succulent Society of the Philippines to give
a lecture during the Quezon City Country Fair,
a joint project of CSSP and the QC government.
He has developed various processed products
out of dragon fruit, including wine, cider vinegar, puree, jam, jelly and two kinds of juices.
DR. TEDDY F. TEPORA WITH HIS JAM He continues to conduct research on other
products that could be developed from dragon
fruit, including ingredients for animal feeds.
He is shown here with his jam and two bottles of wine.
Smart Way To Fertilize (Farm Tip 32)
Well-fertilized durian is very fruitful.
A doctor who owns a four-hectare durian farm in Mindanao has a smart way of applying fertilizer to his trees. When it is time to fertilize the trees after harvest, he
buys all the fertilizer needed for the trees in the four hectares.
When it is time to apply, he hires at least ten workers to apply the fertilizer in just
one day. He sees to it that he is personally supervising the application. That way,
he is sure that the fertilizer is applied properly and in just one day.
He says that if he just relies on one worker to apply the fertilizer in the whole orchard, it could take him one week or more to do so. And the doctor is not sure if
the fertilizer will be applied properly. The doctor has heard of cases where the
worker does not actually apply all the fertilizer. In some instances, part of the fertilizer is sold to other farmers.
Philippine Nuns Advocate Organic Farming
The Seven Healing Gardens
In Baguio City a quick turn from
a main road to a hidden alley
leads one to a trellis of moonflowers crowning the arched entrance to an unexpected sanctuary of quietude and  serenity
away from the blaring city
It is known as the Seven Healing
Gardens of Eden. In its midst
sits the St. Scholastica’s Convent, a retirement haven for Benedictine nuns.
Somewhere in this garden, Sister Alice Sobrevinas is often seen picking salad
greens, puttering around the plants and pulling weeds from her vegetable plots. 
Past her mid-70s, Sister Alice exudes youthful energy, full of enthusiasm in explaining the concept of the garden she so lovingly tends with two young helpers.
The whiff of mint scents and fennel blossoms pleasantly welcomes a visitor,
where parsley, oregano, tarragon, thyme, sage, rosemary and most every herb
that can grow in this climate thrive in the herbal garden. Added to dishes or made
into tea, like the yacon leaves that are lush in the garden, the plants manage the
blood pressure of the nuns or help them sleep well, cure coughs and wounds.
There is the vegetable garden of pechay, mustard and other vegetables planted as
fancied by the gardeners, all organically nourished. The nuns also constantly enjoy bowls of salad greens straight from the garden to the dining table. To keep dementia at bay, Sister Alice keeps rows and rows of several kinds of gota kola, also
known as the wild plant takip kuhol, and adds three leaves of this a day to keep
the nuns’ minds  perky.
Sister Alice recommends that thorny cacti be kept close to computers as they are
effective radiation absorbers. Passing through a line of aloe veras, she says this
variety of the ancient secret of Brazilians helps cure cancer, and gives the tip that
a book by a Franciscan priest, Fr. Romano Zago, talks of the small village that is
the origin of the formula from time immemorial. Seven trees of atis, jackfruit,
santol, lemon, star apple, and breadfruit are enclosed in seven small circles of
Her seven gardens are planted in circles within the greater circle. Sister Alice says
that this is so as not to hinder the flow of energies. Energies go in circles,” she explains.
Seven healing gardens correspond to the seven chakras. They are also called rainbow gardens as the chakras respond to the seven colors of the rainbow, both with an
ephemeral connection to healing. Seven is a sacred number for some religions.
The flowers of all hues in the garden is the rainbow touch here, with yellow gold
marigolds and bright cosmos dominant as they serve as natural pesticides.
In the center of her garden is her pool of spirulina corresponding to the strongest
chakra or the crown of the head. Shaped like a perfect spiral, a gram of this bluegreen is equivalent to 1 kilogram of fresh or natural vegetables. The spirulina tablet
contains 63 vitamins.
The garden provides the healing foods of the nuns.
“We grow what we can consume and give the surplus to friends,” Sister Alice says.
It’s a complete healing garden as a walk through this mandala is also a repose for
the soul. But beyond this, the garden is also a concrete response of the Benedictine
nuns to nurture earth.
As time tells us, our modern-day nuns have ventured out of their cloistered walls
and ventured into the concerns of the world. As such, they actively get involved in
activities that relate to saving the environment, which eventually made Sister Alice
‘Eugene,’ the African night crawler
While African night crawlers (ANCs) are largely used as soil fertilizers, the interest
of the city stemmed from its decades-old garbage problem.
In February 2009 nine members of the Traditional Knowledge Network (TKN),
sponsored by the Laguna Lake Development Authority, went to Laguna to train on
various methods of waste management. The ANC excited them most as it was close
to the indigenous value of “ayyew” which espouses zero waste, where every resource
is used and re-used in a circle. Composting was a key practice in this value. 
In a few months, an ANC trainer was invited by the TKN. Laguna vermiculturist Michael Cagas, came with 30 bayong of ANC. A book titled Stories of Eugene, the
Earthworm tells of the stories of friendship the batch of trainees have fostered with
the worm and how Eugene has crawled, so to speak, into the hearts, garbage bins
and gardens of the community.
The African night crawler is scientifically called Eudrilus euginae, fondly nicknamed
by the BVG as “Eugene.”
Eugene, unlike our native earthworms, is flat-bellied and does not burrow underground. One kilo of worms will eat one kilo of organic waste in a day and cast this out
as vermicast, rich soil fertilizer. Sister Alice used natural agriculture methods but
since the training has held a fascination and love for the worms and her garden has
become the training ground for rearing ANCs. For Sister Alice the ANCs are the night
angels of the ground who work with no salaries.
‘Eugene’ goes to convents
Sister Guadalupe of the Good Shepherd was introduced to Eugene by the invitation of
Sister Alice for the first training. She sent two of her workers and from the first six kilos that they brought home, Sister Guada says their Eugenes have grown from
strength to strength. Known for many food products, the Good Shepherd Convent
generates a lot of waste.Today its ANCs eat up their voluminous organic waste and
give them 40 kg of vermicast every month from their many worm beds. In their
grounds, there is now a covered and screened shed for their worms.
This is because ANCs can easily drown in water when it rains so homes that can drain
are best, and here the rice or jute sacks, humorously called ‘sako technology,’ have
been made the most popular garbage bins and home for these worms. Good Shepherd
houses many student workers and vegetables raised here help to support their cause.
“We grow our vegetables and they have become very robust with our vermicompost,”
she said.
They also now sell their worms per kilo, and so with vermicast and vermi-compost.
They have also equipped themselves of a commercial brewer and a homemade one to
make vermitea, which is great as an organic pesticide. Meanwhile, Sister Alice simply
puts her worm sacks in a plastic pail to catch the liquid for her vermi-tea.
The Sta. Catalina Convent and the St. Francis Convent, among many organizations,
individuals and organic farmers, nourish their gardens with compost from their
Beddings for the worms are simple material that can maintain moisture and allow circulation of air such as banana stalks, twigs, horse manure, dry  leaves, vegetable peelings or even rolled up cartons or newspaper.  They can be fed with vegetable peels,
food scraps, garden waste, egg shells, cardboard, paper and lots of other biodegradables. On very dry days their habitats must be watered.  
Cagas reassures that there is no tendency for ANCs to become pests and, in fact they
have to be protected from ants, birds, chickens, frogs, centipedes and white grubs.
ANCs  like to stay on the surface and such surface dwelling worms that feed on organic material are also called compost worms, with Eugene known to be the most voracious.
Beddings should not be densely packed to allow ventilation. In a week’s time the
vermin bin will have eggs and baby worms.
At least every month or six weeks, the breeders are lifted on to another bed so as
not to overpopulate the vermi bin. What is left also is the vermicast.
The vermicast and vermicompost can contain nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium,
calcium and magnesium. Per kilo of the worms can run up to P1,000 per kilo, but
can easily be obtained for free from breeder friends and advocates. Vermicast can
be bought for P500 per sack or P10 per kilo. One kilo of ANCs become 10 kilos in
six weeks because the egg matures into a breeder in six weeks and each breeder
lays more than eight eggs that becomes juveniles in as short as two weeks. Eugene
may well be the best friend of hog raisers as hog manure proves to be one of the
best food for them. This was proven by Bal Kiat-ong, whose pigpens he rid of foul
smell with his worms. Among those who got their first two kilos of starter kits, Bal
also multiplied his worms the fastest and generously gives them away in trainings.
Sister Alice and the BVG have gone on giving seminars complete with starter kits
with the cry, “There’s nothing to lose but your garbage!”
The order of sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary first based their home in
Tuding, Itogon and were thereafter called the Tuding Sisters.
They were the first order of nuns who raised an organic garden and set up an organic market inviting farmers to bring their produce to the grounds of their convent.
It was Ed Guevara of the eco-village of Geo-Farms who helped the Tuding nuns set
up their bio-digester tanks which filtered their waste water that they used to spray
their soil for nourishment and also as a source of methane for their cooking
The system no longer works but the interest in protecting the environment and
planting organic vegetables the earlier nuns impressed on their congregation has
evolved into simpler methods, and it works.
One rainy day, Sister Julie showed this writer her backyard garden in their Tuding
convent. Dressed in red jogging pants and sneakers, she nimbly walked down the
slippery stone steps down to the lower slopes of the hill within their grounds.
Despite the steady heavy downpour of several days, she had rows of robust green
mustard and Chinese pechay among other leafy greens inside an improvised
greenhouse made of bamboo slats and thick clear agricultural plastic sheets. Along
the walk, she picked a few leaves from aragula plants lining the pathway. Here and
there she would bend to gather some fallen passion fruits on the ground or pluck
the ripe ones from the trellis. They were all the produce of her own labor.
“What we cannot consume here I bring to the organic store our nuns run at the Cathedral,” she said.
The interest of the Tuding nuns for organically grown products have led them to
many a seminar and workshops to learn the secrets of healthy happy agriculture
and such knowledge derived from these they gladly share in training other women.
Stacked on Sister Julie’s table are her training materials from lectures given by organic farmer masters or awardees of  Gawad Magsasaka.
She tells of the first exposure she had with  Magsasakang Siyentista for Natural
Farming Eric Tinoyan of Tuba, an engineer who wrote on producing indigenous
microorganism. The process involves the storing of a kilo of cooked rice in a bamboo hollow, cooled before covering. The container is placed in a forest area where
there is white hyphae, a cotton-like white fungal growth.
Made simpler, one can just place the container in a clean area, such as by a bamboo
grove. After three or five days, white mold can be seen on the rice. The rice with the
microbes can be transferred into a clay jar and mixed with one kilo of crude sugar.
The mixture is then let to stand for seven days, covered with paper, in a cool place.
The juice taken from here if mixed with one liter of water can be sprayed on plants
or mixed with biodegradables to hasten composting, which can be ready in as short
as two weeks.  Sister Julie also learned about fermented plant juice microorganisms from Tinoyan. Interestingly, the oriental herbal nutrient uses ginger, beer, gin
and crude sugar, and some laughingly joke that this must produce tipsy crops unless the farmer gets to the ingredients first.
Tinoyan encourages the use of indigenous or easily available material and cites
quite a number. One of the easiest to obtain is the rice bran to produce lactic acid
bacterial serum. The formula requires 1.5 liter first rice wash which carries a lot of
good microorganism. This is let to stand for seven days by which time the bran
floats. The rice bran is strained and only the Lacto Seed (LAS) water is used. Added
to the jar are 10 liters of fresh milk, then it is covered with manila paper tied with
string. After seven days the fat (white solids) floats to the top and a yellowish substance stays in the bottom which is the Lacto Seed without fat. A total of 10 kilos of
crude sugar must be added so it does not spoil and after seven days of storage, the
formula can be used much the same way for hastening composting.
Sister Julie had tried several of the procedures, displaying some of them stored in
jars. But one of her constant formulas is the one she learned from another Gawad
Magsasaka awardee for organic farming, Pat Acosta. After years
of experimentation, Acosta discovered that all it takes is understanding how nature
works and adding a bit of technology to speed up the natural process.
Acosta’s simple formula takes just one tablespoon of clean soil, one tablespoon of
sugar or molasses and the mixture is cultured for seven days. Twenty-five milliliters of the culture is mixed to a liter of water and sprayed for composting plant
cuttings. The mixture can rot one ton of biodegradables like garden debris in
about two weeks. Acosta cautions that the compost heap must be covered as rain
washes away the nutrients.
Molasses, or crude sugar, contains calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphate and sodium and thus increases the population of good microorganisms in
the soil mixture.
Almost shyly, Sister Julie adds her own concocted formula to the line of jars on the
table and says this is liquid taken from sunflower extract. Following the formula of
Tinoyan and Acosta, Sister Julie heaps up cuttings of sunflower bushes, leaves,
stem and all, and puts them in a container. She collects the juice from the rotting
heap and applies the same formula she learned from Acosta.
For the Tuding nuns, what can be more indigenous and available than sunflowers
From November to February, the hills of this region are swathed with a golden
carpet of sunflower blooms. For the rest of the year, they are considered as nuisance bushes by city dwellers.
But farmers know better. According to anthropologist and former director of the
International Center for Tropical Agriculture Joachim Voss, sunflowers were used
by the Mayans and were first introduced here as ornamentals. Mountain farmers
in this region put cut sunflowers in irrigation canals so that the nutrients flow directly to the fields. Sunflowers are one of the richest sources of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium among the plants found in the region.
The Tuding nuns also run a farm in Tublay managed only by two nuns and in Tuba
by one nun. Their produce is brought to their Mt. Grown Natural Foods store situated at the exit point of the Baguio Cathedral. Organic farmers who used to bring
their goods to the Tuding convent now sell their produce here.
Urban gardening has time and again been a program of the city. But nothing has
been more sustained than the gardens run by the nuns here. Even while these gardens that produce healthy food adhere to their spiritual commitments of integrity
of creation for the Good Shepherd Nuns or caring for Mother Earth for the Benedictines and the Tuding nuns, their practice sets the premise for the city that urban gardening can be done with discipline and incentives.
Urban gardens are a part of eco-city designs. This is premised on factors like the
need to minimize transportation costs of bringing farm goods from rural settings
to city markets. There is also the need to have green patches within city spaces to
minimize the heat-island effect a city with many concrete structures is beset with.
The School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) of the University of the Philippines  recommends a mix of rural and urban spaces in cities. Half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and the growing sprawl poses a great deal of challenge to
sustainability of resources.
In Baguio, for instance, a great population is comprised of migrants from the interiors
of the region. They come from agricultural areas and rather than add to the burden of
feeding, Geraldine Cacho, head of Ornus, an urban-poor organization, believes that
their rural values can serve as assets to the city. Like growing their own food in pots or
throw-away containers.
Mountain folk here have the value of ayyew or reusing every resource, and many of
the rural poor trained at the St. Scholastica’s Convent have adapted the vermiculture
kind of agriculture and growing their own food that is healthy and pesticide-free. It is
a practice akin to ayyew.
The fragile nuns actively pursuing organic gardening here are able to manage their
gardens with the minimum of help because of easier technologies. All it took for them
to get going was an interest and commitment to go into healthier lifestyles.
According to Dr. Jose Balaoing, director of Cordillera Agriculture Development Center and project leader of the Organic Demo Farm of Benguet State University, there
are enough resources for training those interested.  There simply is a need for sustained and organized efforts to keep the interest of city dwellers in producing their
own backyard gardens. Latop, among the first organized group of organic farmers,
sustains their training efforts with the support of the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation.
Movements like these promote urban gardening.
Awareness of the benefits of home gardening can be emphasized such as residents can
be more ensured of the cleanliness of what they eat. With the worsening economy,
raising one’s own food needs will help family budgets.
While the number of organic gardeners is growing in the city, the practitioners have a
higher level of awareness and inclination for healthier lifestyles. Fast foods and readyto-cook meals are symptoms of fast-paced living in urban areas and most city dwellers
have fallen into this routine without much thought. Studies show this has a toll on
UP-SURP suggests revisiting or returning to the past in some areas of life, such as architecture that provides for roof gardens or container gardening.
Dr. Steffen Lehmann, Unesco chairman in Sustainable Urban Development for Asia
and the Pacific, captures the value of the endeavors of the nuns to bring about a
healthier lifestyle for the community.
“A sustainable city makes provision for adequate food production, a return to the
community and gardens of past days, where roof gardens become an urban market
garden. It is essential that we bridge the urban-rural disconnect and move cities toward models that deal in natural ecosystems and healthy food systems. Local food and
short supply chain save on transport cost and includes eating local and slow food initiatives,” he said.
Making Your Own Organic Fertilizer
Making your own organic fertilizer can possibly help you save money on fertilizer
costs along with other benefits, but can also cost you more time energy and money
in making it. Simple and cost effective ways to make organic fertilizer are to putting
your crop harvest waste back into your field to be composted over time providing
the soil and your crops vitamins and nutrients for your next cropping. Is making
your own organic fertilizer worth the effort or is it easier to simply buy a quality organic fertilizer such as Nutriplant instead? The best way to know is to try making
your own organic fertilizer on a small scale at first and if it works for you, increase
the size of your fertilizer making operations. For farmers who want to focus more
on their farming than on making their own fertilizer for their farming projects, using already processed organic fertilizer such as Nutriplant is a simple and easy way
to have a strong healthy farm crop. Whether you make your own organic fertilizer
or not, Nutriplant organic fertilizer will help you in growing a high quality large
harvest crop. You can use Nutriplant as your main and only fertilizer and also as a
supplement with your other fertilizer products organic or synthetic.
More Loans Provided for the Philippine
Agriculture Industry
AUGUST 28, 2012
The state-owned Development Bank of the
Philippines (DBP) seeks to further promote
agribusinesses by providing loan assistance
to the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors.
In a press statement, DBP President and
Chief Executive Officer Francisco F. Del Rosario Jr., said DBP’s Agribusiness Development Program (ADP) will boost funding support to agri-agra projects in compliance with
the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009.  
“We will allocate an initial amount of P5 billion to provide agri-based entrepreneurs access to loans in the transformation of farmlands and idle lands including
DAR [Department of Agrarian Reform] distributed agri-lands into agribusiness
enterprises,” Del Rosario said. 
He said DBP seeks to develop high-value commercial crops and promote organic
The ADP supports the National Convergence Initiative Program of the Department of Agriculture, DAR and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The ADP has pipeline projects amounting to P2.6 billion.
Eligible for funding are all agribusiness projects including but not limited to priority crops under the DBP High-Value Commercial Crops and Organic Agriculture
Program, from production, post-harvest, agri-processing to market or the whole
value chain. 
Also eligible for financing are poultry and livestock, investment in bio-fuel feedstock projects, and production of organic products or the whole value chain.
The facility is available under wholesale lending and retail lending. 
Eligible borrowers under wholesale lending are banks, microfinance institutions,
non-governmental organizations, cooperatives, Securities Exchange Commission
-registered financing companies, farmers and fisherfolk associations and other
types of associations duly registered with corresponding government agencies.
All types of business entities engaged in agribusiness projects and registered with
corresponding agencies are eligible for financing under retail lending.
By Business Mirror
Investing in Philippine Agriculture
Investment funds to increase food production output is vital for successful and
profitable small or large farming. With current food demand more than supply,
the urgent need exists for more agriculture loans and funding to increase food
production harvests to avert very possible future food shortages. For Philippine
farmers the opportunity to be more profitable has never been greater and should
continue for years to come. If your a existing farmer you are already experiencing
larger farming profits and if your new to farming, there never been a better time
to get started considering the long-term supply demand factors.
Organic farming best in fight vs climate change
August 11, 2010
Organic farming is an agricultural production
system that is best suited in succeeding in the
battle against climate change.
Prof. Oscar B. Zamora of the University of the
Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB), a convenor
of Go Organic! Philippines, said promoting
organic farming is a sound option for climate
change mitigation and adaptation.
He said organic agriculture production systems are less prone to extreme weather
condition, such as drought, flood and waterlogging.
Zamora, who is also dean of the UPLB Graduate School, explained that organic
farming addresses the major effects of climate change, namely, increased occurrence of extreme weather events, increased water stress, and problems related to
soil quality.
“It reduces the vulnerability of the farmers to climate change and variability,” he
Roland Cabigas, managing director of La Liga Policy Institute and also a convenor
of Go Organic! Philippines, said their group has been advocating the massive conversion of conventional rice farms to organic farm sites as a way of battling climate
The Philippines, he said, remains highly vulnerable to climate change, with its slew
of extreme weather like typhoons, floods and drought.
“We need to rethink the way we do agriculture because it is already killing us,” Cabigas argued.
As an adaptation strategy, organic farming increases the soil’s organic matter content and improves water holding capacity and makes crops more resistant to
drought, Zamora said in his paper
“Organic Agriculture as a Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy.”
In the same paper, he identified some climate change-resilient crops and potential
substitutes for rice during periods of low rainfall.
These crops include avocado, carrot, cashew, common bean, corn, cowpea, eggplant, garlic, lablab bean, lesser yam, lettuce, mango, mungbean, mustard, okra,
onion, pea, peanut, pechay, pepper, radish, sesame, sorghum, soybean, squash,
sunflower, sweet potato, tomato, watermelon and wax gourd.
By promoting biodiversity-based farming
systems that increase income sources and
equip farmers with the flexibility needed to
cope with changing rainfall patterns, organic
farming reduces the risks of farmers, Zamora added.
“This leads to higher economic and ecological stability through optimized ecological
balance and risk-spreading,” he stressed.
Since organic farming is a low-risk farming
strategy with reduced costs of external inputs, it lowers the risks with partial or total crop failure due to extreme weather
Organic farming also provides products that command higher prices via an organic certification system, he added.
Due to lower costs of production and higher selling prices, farmers can actually increase their income and reduce the risk of indebtedness.
As a mitigation strategy, Zamora said organic farming addresses emissions reduction, reduces carbon emissions from farming system inputs such as fertilizers and
pesticides, methane, CO2, and CO emissions in lowland paddy soils by effective
water management.
Organic farming, he added, promotes carbon sequestration.
This can be done through cultural management practices, such as use of compost
and other organic materials for soil fertility enhancement, practice of biodiversitybased farming systems (mixed cropping and use of green manures, legume-based
crop rotation, agroforestry systems involving annual crops, perennials, trees and
“Increasing the soil’s organic carbon has been pointed out as an important mitigation option,” he added.
The practice of soil conserving tillage system such as zero or minimum tillage is a
significant contribution to the reduction of the carbon footprint since it avoids excessive plowing that leads to the oxidization of soil carbon and becomes atmospheric carbon dioxide5.
“It also reduces biomass mineralization, decreases oxygen availability and increases soil organic carbon concentration. These practices help reduce evaporation by
minimizing exposed soil on the surface,” Zamora argued.
Interest Up In Dragon Fruit
August 31, 2012
FRUIT — Movie Queen Susan Roces
smiles as she poses with her fruiting
dragon fruit she grows in her home garden.
There Is a growing interest in planting
dragon fruit, a cactus variety that produces commercial fruits that are not only
nice to eat but are also claimed to have
medicinal value.
Last Wednesday, August 28, Susan Roces, the Movie Queeen, must have been so
thrilled with her own harvest of dragon fruit, she sent some to her friends, including this writer.
A few years back, she planted several cuttings in a couple of plant boxes in her
home and without much care and attention, the plants grew lush and produced a
lot of fruits this season.
In the supermarkets, dragon fruit sells at a high price. We saw some selling at P180
per kilo. Which means that commercial growers could make a good margin if they
can sell what they produce.
This must be the reason why the Cactus and Succulent Society headed by Dorie S.
Bernabe is also batting for more plantings of this fruiting cactus not only in home
gardens but also in farms. Even the small farmers could plant this crop with little
This coming October 18 to 21, the Cactus and Succulent Society will be staging the
Quezon City Country Fair in collaboration with the Quezon City government at the
Quezon Memorial Circle. And one of the highlights will be the promotion of the
planting of dragon fruit. The QC government’s pointman in this event is Engr.
Zaldy de la Rosa.
There are two varieties being grown by many people in the country today. The most
common is the variety with white flesh. This produces big fruits with mild sweetness, which could be perfect for diabetics who can’t have so much sugar.
The other variety has dark red flesh. The fruits are smaller than the white-fleshed
variety but they are much sweeter.
There is also a third variety but it is rarely seen in
the Philippines. This is
the variety with yellow
skin and white flesh. We
have only tasted this variety once and it is very
sweet. However, there are
no planting materials
available locally. It would
be worth planting in the
garden or in the farm.
There are commercial plantings of this fruiting cactus in Ilocos Norte (at least two
big ones), a number in Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and other
The beauty about this crop is that it is not only nice to eat as fresh fruit. Several
processed food and wellness items have been produced by researchers in academe
as well as private growers. In Pangasinan, a fellow is making dragon fruit wine. At
the Cavite State University in Indang, researchers have come up with formulations
for beauty soap, wine, jam, jelly, puree, ready-to-drink juice and cider vinegar.
Even the flowers are utilized in salads and other food preparations.
DA to provide P10M assistance to awardwinning town in Zamboanga del Sur
18 September 2012
The Department of Agriculture (DA) will soon release over P10 million (M) financial assistance to the municipality of Dumingag as counterpart funding to the organic agriculture project of the Zamboanga del Sur town which was recently recognized internationally.
The will cover components including techno-demo farm, education development,
community organizing, increased material capacity, and third party certification.
A memorandum of agreement (MoA) signed between Secretary Proceso J. Alcala
and Mayor Nacianceno Pacalioga, Jr. at the DA office in Quezon City on September
12, 2012 formalized the said joint-venture.
According to Alcala, the project is a participatory intervention of the government in
agricultural production that seeks to promoteorganic farming system.
“The MoA states that the local government of Dumingag will counterpart over P2M,
while about P12M will be solicited from other sources, totaling to about P24 M project cost,” Alcala said.
Some of the target products of the project include organic rice, corn, vegetables,
and root crops. It is also aimed at producing organic rice ducks and rice fish, as well
as biofertilizers and earthworms for vermiculture.
The initiative will likewise serve as model for other local government units to replicate in converting conventional farms to organic system.
Secretary Alcala commended Mayor Pacalioga for his continuous efforts in implementing organic farming which landed him a top contender spot in 2012 One
World Award, the most prestigious organic agriculture worldwide award based in
Germany . The overall winner will be chosen on September 14, 2012 at Bonn , Germany . Other finalists come from India , Turkey , Nicaragua , and Cuba .
Mayor Pacalioga, a second-termer mayor, started introducing organic agriculture to
the townspeople of Dumingag through massive information campaign and community organizing in 2007. From less than 20 farmers, close to 500 individuals are
now practicing integrated organic farming, which covers about eight to nine percent of the town’s total farming activity.
“The international recognition for Mayor Pacalioga is laudable and the DA is ready
to render needed assistance,” Alcala said. ### (Cath Nanta)
DA to put up P914-M agri trading centers
18 September 2012
The Department of Agriculture will construct
four Agri-Pinoy Trading
Centers (APTCs), totaling
P914 million, that will
benefit at least 12,000
farmers and livestock
raisers in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija,
and Southern Mindanao.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the establishment of APTCs is part of
the Aquino government’s continuing efforts to enable small farmers earn more
profit as they will have a venue to sell their products directly to institutional buyers.
The DA will put up 10 more APTCs in the next two years, said Secretary Alcala,
who signed the respective memorandum of agreement with the APTC beneficiaries, September 14, 2012, at the DA-BSWM convention hall in Quezon City.
The initial four APTCs will rise up in La Trinidad, Benguet; Urdaneta City, Pangasinan; Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; and at Kabacan, North Cotabato.
The establishment of APTCs is spearheaded by the DA through its Agribusiness
and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) led by Director Leandro H. Gazmin,
and APTC Program Director Arnulfo F. Mañalac.
The Benguet APTC, worth P460 million, will be constructed in a four-hectare lot,
at the ‘Strawberry Fields,’ owned by the Benguet State University (BSU). It will
serve as a major trading center for Cordillera “chopsuey” vegetables that include
lettuce, broccoli, carrots, chayote, potatoes, and other temperate crops. It will benefit at least 5,000 Cordillera farmers and their families.
The Urdaneta and Cabanatuan APTCs will have lowland and so-called ‘pinakbet’
vegetables as major commodities for sale, and will directly benefit at least 6,000
Finally, the APTC at the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), in Kabacan,
North Cotabato, will serve as a Halal Training and Development Center. It will feature a modern halal slaughterhouse for goat, sheep and beef cattle. It will benefit
at least 1,000 livestock farmers in North Cotabato and nearby areas.
The APTCs are patterned after a successful agricultural trading center, called Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agrikultura ng Quezon, in Sariaya. The facility was
established in 2006, which is one of the major initiatives of Secretary Alcala when
he served as a Representative of the 2nd District of Quezon.
Since then the Sentrong Pamilihan has increased the productivity and incomes of
Quezon vegetable farmers, enabling them to send their children to school, renovated and put up new houses, and bought farm equipment and vehicles.
Alcala said the support and intervention of the DA does not begin and end with the
establishment of the APTCs. He said the farmers, traders and institutional buyers
should forge a mutual and continuing production and marketing agreement to ensure that everybody benefits throughout the food supply chain.
Among the APTC proponents at MOA signing were: Benguet Governor Nestor
Fongwan, Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan, BSU President Ben Ladilad, Benguet
Farmers’ Marketing Cooperative President Aurelio Lapniten, Urdaneta City Mayor
Amadeo Perez IV, USM President Jesus Antonio Derije, and Nueva Ecija Vegetables Growers’ Association Chairman Jerry Agpalo. (Catherine Nanta, DA Information Service)
In Habagat’s aftermath: lessons in recovery
Created on Wednesday, 05 September 2012
By: Lila Ramos Shahani August 22, 2012 4:44pm
The rainfall of Habagat had reached a staggering record 472 mm in 22 hours
(higher than 2009’s ‘Ondoy’), resulting in the overflow of La Mesa Dam, landslides
in Quezon City and the displacement of thousands of families.
But the nation had learned its lesson, and was more prepared this time. The response, from government and civil society, was swift and deliberate. From online
news to Facebook and Twitter, netizens and public servants alike participated in
deftly-executed rescue missions.
Now a more pressing concern is the need to address the deluge’s aftermath. Today,
the plans to be executed for the nation’s full recovery must be maximized in order
to re-energize the economy and fulfill the goals of sustainable development.
I had the pleasure of discussing critical areas of concern with respect to risk reduction and long-term rehabilitation with Lan Mercado, currently Oxfam adviser to
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Toward economic stability
Emergency relief distributed in kind — food, clothes and water — is, of course,
necessary to quell the wave of immediate human suffering. But focus should be
quickly directed toward another crucial component of rehabilitation: the market.
“Humanitarian actors have to invest in targeting the systems of delivery,” Mercado,
formerly Philippine Country Director of Oxfam, points out.
“If markets are functioning, emergency-affected populations can be supported to
buy commodities that they need. Look at Amartya Sen's work on famine, and apply
it to disaster situations and humanitarian responses. Although food and non-food
distribution are standard staples in humanitarian responses, it is not only food supply that is the problem in many emergencies; rather, people hit by a disaster lose
the capability to access food and non-food items readily available in the market because their livelihood assets were lost and there were significant disruptions in
their usual economic activities.”
Certainly, there is much truth to Sen's capability theory and the notion of development as the expansion of freedom, which demonstrates why cash transfers (cash
grants, cash-for-work or vouchers) can quickly reintegrate communities into economic activities and empower them. As such, the Department of Social Welfare and
Development’s (DSWD’s) Cash-For-Work Program, already established after Typhoon Sendong, facilitated the cash grant and community service exchange system
for affected communities.
DSWD continues to work towards generating markets and spurring employment.
DSWD's Self-Employed Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) helps establish communitybased microcredit organizations managed by community members themselves.
Like DSWD, the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE’s) Emergency
Employment Scheme includes public-private partnerships, where private contractors and subcontractors source at least 50% of unskilled and 30% of skilled workers
from the ranks of the affected. Likewise, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) focuses on providing women with different skill sets for
the swift return of women into the market.
Mercado lauds cash transfers not only as an investment in rapid economic reintegration, but also as a way of empowering affected people by investing “trust and
confidence that disaster-displaced families will make good use of the money.”
Basic commodities are still readily available and being given as aid. But, in addition, both private gas companies and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
have implemented price freezes to make sure the prices of goods stay steady until
the State of Calamity is lifted.
Assuring the public of a steady supply of commodities and efforts to curb panicbuying, DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo says, “We aim for price stability to keep
inflation rates under control, so that after all of this, we can still have stable prices
to ensure that households and businesses can make optimum decisions with regard to consumption, investments, savings and production needs. You must remember that we really need to protect the purchasing power of the poor, as basic
goods remain relatively affordable.”
The Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Department
of Energy also ensure the adequate supply of goods, their safety and
availability, and their sustainability in the long-term.
Does Mercado deem this to be sufficient? Perhaps not entirely. But government’s
efforts can only go so far, after all. Much will also depend on partnerships with the
private sector, which will be needed to generate jobs, and also to maintain the
healthy competition on which reasonable prices of goods depend. DTI’s Consumer
Welfare and Business Regulation Group helps monitor the market even as shortterm relief measures give way to long-term sustainable markets.
Gender equality and social protection
Another concern for Mercado is social protection and gender. “The primary goal of
humanitarian intervention is saving and protecting lives,” Mercado notes.
“According to the Humanitarian Charter, equal rights for men and women should
be at the center of any kind of intervention. Unfortunately, there seems to be an
underlying assumption that vulnerabilities are the same for all groups of people,
which is not always the case. As a result, some evacuation camp management techniques may cause inequities, particularly in matters of gender.”
While this is certainly true the world over, there is a need to distinguish between
government and non-governmental organization (NGO) camp management techniques. During disasters, each affected family is enrolled in a family access card
system based on a master list at each municipal social welfare office. The specific
needs of each family are managed so there can be less duplications and misrepresentations, and everyone is duly cross-checked against a master list. Until a family
is ready to leave the evacuation center and fend for itself, the access cards are used
to claim relief goods. Among NGOs, such municipal lists do not always exist, so
monitoring becomes more difficult. In such contexts, social Darwinism is more
prone to happen, with women often being bullied out of their fair share of relief
Rebuilding lives
To help families become capable of rebuilding their own homes and livelihoods,
DSWD, with strong support from LGUs, provides the Crisis Intervention Unit safety-net; the Self-Employed Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K); Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHICIDSS) programs and the Tindahan Natin Project.
Through the Services for Women in Especially Difficult Circumstances Program, as
well as the psycho-social support offered for mothers in the Ina Healing Center,
DSWD gives opportunities to women seeking to manage the long-term complications wrought by such disasters.
Risk reduction and efforts toward sustainable development
Bolstering the economy while sustaining the livelihood of our people continues to
be the guiding principle for government. As Mercado aptly puts it, “we have to go
beyond emergency protocols and implement sound risk reduction strategies — not
just physical plans, but the right choices that take us closer to sustainable development.”
Many new developments are now in place. Risk reduction efforts now include the
Department of Public Works and Highways’ flood control programs for the country’s river systems, along with ‘Oplan Lubak to Normal’ to fix and keep roads safe
for public and private transport. The Presidential Communications Development
and Strategic Planning Office also encourages citizens to report whatever damages
they see.
To save the lives of informal settlers in areas identified as danger zones, the twenty
member agencies of the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster and local government units are working on relocation schemes and have a task
force ready to implement them.
The Department of Education is collaborating very closely with the Department of
Budget and Management for enough funding to repair affected schools. And the
Department of Agriculture is offering free seeds and crops for farmers to replant
and providing a harvest to make up for assets that have been destroyed.
Mercado lauds cash transfers not only as an investment in rapid economic reintegration, but also as a way of empowering affected people by investing “trust and
confidence that disaster-displaced families will make good use of the money.”
Basic commodities are still readily available and being given as aid. But, in addition, both private gas companies and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
have implemented price freezes to make sure the prices of goods stay steady until
the State of Calamity is lifted.
Assuring the public of a steady supply of commodities and efforts to curb panicbuying, DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo says, “We aim for price stability to keep
inflation rates under control, so that after all of this, we can still have stable prices
to ensure that households and businesses can make optimum decisions with regard to consumption, investments, savings and production needs. You must remember that we really need to protect the purchasing power of the poor, as basic
goods remain relatively affordable.”
The Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Department
of Energy also ensure the adequate supply of goods, their safety and
availability, and their sustainability in the long-term.
Does Mercado deem this to be sufficient? Perhaps not entirely. But government’s
efforts can only go so far, after all. Much will also depend on partnerships with the
private sector, which will be needed to generate jobs, and also to maintain the
healthy competition on which reasonable prices of goods depend. DTI’s Consumer
Welfare and Business Regulation Group helps monitor the market even as shortterm relief measures give way to long-term sustainable markets.
Gender equality and social protection
Another concern for Mercado is social protection and gender. “The primary goal of
humanitarian intervention is saving and protecting lives,” Mercado notes.
“According to the Humanitarian Charter, equal rights for men and women should
be at the center of any kind of intervention. Unfortunately, there seems to be an underlying assumption that vulnerabilities are the same for all groups of people,
which is not always the case. As a result, some evacuation camp management techniques may cause inequities, particularly in matters of gender.”
While this is certainly true the world over, there is a need to distinguish between
government and non-governmental organization (NGO) camp management techniques. During disasters, each affected family is enrolled in a family access card system based on a master list at each municipal social welfare office. The specific
needs of each family are managed so there can be less duplications and misrepresentations, and everyone is duly cross-checked against a master list. Until a family
is ready to leave the evacuation center and fend for itself, the access cards are used
Assistant Secretary Lila Ramos Shahani is head of communications of the Human
Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster.
PiÑa Kangkong
Excellent source of Vitamin C – helps fight common infections.
Makes 6 servings
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pc
medium onion, sliced
2 tbspoyster sauce
1 can (234 g)DEL MONTE Pineapple Tidbits, drained (reserve syrup)
3 bunches
kangkong, leaves
and tender stalks only
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1. SAUTÉ half of garlic until brown. Set aside.
2. SAUTÉ remaining garlic and onion. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce, oyster sauce,
pineapple syrup, 1/8 tsp pepper and kangkong. Simmer until almost
cooked. Add DEL MONTE Fresh Cut Pineapple Tidbits. Simmer once. Top
with sesame seeds and fried garlic.
Tokwa Fried Rice
Rich in Iron - for healthy red blood cells
Makes 7 servings
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pc medium onion, sliced
1 pc siling haba, seeded and sliced
1 pouch (250 g) DEL MONTE Original
Style Tomato Sauce
2 medium (130 g) tokwa,
fried and cut into short strips
1 pc (20 g) chorizo de bilbao, thinly
6 cups cooked rice
1 pc chicken bouillon cube, crumbled
4 stalks
green onions, chopped
1. SAUTÉ garlic, onion, sili, chorizo and chicken bouillon cube. Add DEL MONTE Tomato Sauce, 1/4 cup water and tokwa. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer
for 5-10 minutes.
2. ADD rice and green onions. Mix until well blended. Serve with hot Rice.
Beans Con Carne
Rich in Vitamin B1 – prevents beriberi.
Makes 6 servings
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pc medium onion, sliced
200g ground pork
1 pouch (200 g) DEL MONTE Original
Style Tomato Sauce
3 bunches (350 g) sitaw, cut into 2"
long pieces
1. SAUTÉ garlic, onion and pork. Add 1/2 to 1 cup water, DEL MONTE Tomato
Sauce, 1/2 tsp iodized fine salt (or 1/2 tbsp iodized rock salt) and 1/8 tsp
pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.
2. ADD sitaw then simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
Beef Ampalaya With Sotanghon
High in Vitamin B12 – prevents anemia.
Makes 7 servings
1/4 kg ampalaya, seeded and sliced
4 cloves
garlic, crushed
1 pc beef bouillon cube
1 pc medium onion, sliced
1 pouch (200 grams) DEL MONTE
Original Style Tomato Sauce
150g beef sirloin, cut into thin strips
50 g sotanghon, cut into shorter
1. PREPARE brine solution by mixing 1 tsp iodized fine salt (or 1 tbsp iodized
rock salt) with 1-1/2 cups water. Soak ampalaya in brine solution for 10
m i n u t e s .
S q u e e z e
a n d
s e t
a s i d e .
2. SAUTÉ garlic, onion and beef. Add bouillon cube, DEL MONTE Tomato
Sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp iodized fine salt (or 1/2 tbsp iodized rock salt)
3. ADD sotanghon and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ampalaya and cook for 3 minutes or until tender.
Fish & Veggies In Chili Tomato Sauce
Rich in Vitamin C - helps fight common infections.
Makes 6 servings
200 g
tuna or maya maya fillet,
cut into 12 chunks
1 stalk
tanglad, pounded
3/4 cup
thick coconut milk
4 cloves
1 pouch (200 g) DEL MONTE Filipino Style Tomato Sauce
1 pc small onion, sliced
1/2-1 pc
siling labuyo
2-3 tbsp
bagoong alamang
1 bunch (200 g)
long strands
1 small bunch
kangkong, leaves
and tender stalks only
sitaw, cut into 2"
1. SEASON fish with salt. Fry until half -cooked or light brown. Retain 2 tbsp
oil in pan. Set aside
2. POUND garlic, onion and sili together. SAUTÉ in pan for 2 minutes. Add bagoong, sitaw, tanglad, and coconut milk. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
3. ADD DEL MONTE Filipino Style Tomato Sauce and kangkong. Simmer for 5
minutes. Add fish. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
How to make homemade Tofu (Tokwa)
An improved production technology is introduced to come up with instant dry soybean curd, superior in quality compared to the fresh form. The technology uses MgSO4, as coagulant which increase the yield of fresh soybean curd. The instant
soybean curd has a good texture upon rehydration and its storage life is lengthened
to 6 months from the 3 day-old fresh
Cheese cloth
Cooking vessel
1. Processed the soybean milk by soaking soybeans overnight. Washi, clean and
blending it by grinding.
2. Add 12 liters of water to every kilo of soybeans. This mixture is cooked for 30
minutes with occasional stirring.
3. The puree is strained on cheesecloth to obtain the milk.
4. Boil the milk for 10 minutes, then cooled to 50° C.
5. A volume of 0.2% MgSO4 is added to promote curd formation for 20 minutes.
6. Curd is collected into cloth lined mold or press.
7. The curd is then cut into desired sizes, frozen, thawed and soaked briefly
in sodium bicarbonate solution.
8. Finally, the soaked curd is pressed and dried in a solar dryer at 60° C.
How to make Fresh Bean Curd
1 cup soybeans
1 teaspoon vinegar
1. Soak the beans in water overnight. Change water several times and remove
floating grains.
2. Wash, grind the soybeans. Add about 6 cups water for every cup of beans
while grinding.
3. Boil the ground beans in water for ½ hour while stirring.
4. Strain in muslin cloth.
5. Mix in well a teaspoon of vinegar.
6. Wrap in cloth the curdled soybean.
7. Remove the express water by putting weight on top of it.
How to make Taosi
Taosi is salty fermented beans commonly used
in food preparation or as condiment of Filipino
Rice bran
Wheat flour
Aspergillus oryzae (mold)
Cooking container
Jar for fermentation
Shallow bamboo basket (bistay)
1. The soybeans are washed in several changes of tap water and are soaked
overnight. The soaked beans are washed and the water is drained out.
2. The beans are cooked by boiling in a suitable container until they are tender
enough that they can easily be pressed between fingers.
3. The boiled beans are transferred into a shallow basket or (bistay) to drain the
excess water and then subsequently cooled.
4. Beans are dried for 30 minutes under the sun or for one hour in the shade.
5. Cooked dried beans are coated with roasted wheat flour.
6. One teaspoon of a 3-day old rice bran culture of yellow-greenish mold known
as aspergillus oryzae is introduced to the beans as seed. The mixture is mixed
7. The seeded are spread to a thickness of about 1-2 inches thick. Then cover
with either cheesecloth or clean Manila paper and allow to stand for 3-4 days
in a clean place till it is profusely covered with the mold growth.
8. The beans with molds are transferred into a jar containing salt solution and
Bahay Kubo
The illustrated Version of the Philippine Medicinal Plant Song
A bahay kubo in rural Tiaong that lives the song, housing a family of six who survives off the
plants that grow around their humble abode. The hut was built from recycled parts, coco lumber
posts, strips of bamboo for siding, and roofed with corrugated metal sheets. Around the house
grows a miscellany of vegetables – kamoteng kahoy, sitaw, kalamismis, paayap, pipino, okra,
ampalaya, kalabasa, papaya or talong – for daily table fare and a small amount sold in the market to buy their daily measures of rice.
Bahay kubo, kahit munti
Ang halaman doon ay sari-sari.
Singkamas at talong,
sigarilyas at mani
Sitaw, batawa, patani
Kundol, patol
upo’t kalabasa
At saka mayroon pang, labanos, mustasa
Sibuyas, kamatis
bawang at luya
Sa paligid-ligid ay puno ng linga
All About Vegetables of
Bahay Kubo
Family • Leguminosae
Pachyrhizus erosus L. Urban
Bang kuan
Scientific names
Common names
Dolichos erosus Linn.
Dolichos bulbosus Linn
Pachyrhizus erosus L. Urban
Pachyrhizus angulatus Rich.
Pachyrhizus jicamas Blanco
Hinkamas (Tag.)
Jicama (Engl.)
Kamah (Sbl.)
Kamas (Ilk.)
Lakamas (Pang.)
Sikamas (Pamp.)
Singkamas (Tag.)
Sinkamas (Tag.)
Potato bean (Engl.)
Yam bean (Engl.)
Bang kuan (Chin.)
Gen info
Pachyrrihizus is derived from the Greek word
meaning "thick root."
Sinkamas is a coarse, climbing, herbaceous
vine growing from large, edible, turnip-shaped,
fleshy roots. Leaflets, at least the terminal
ones, are broader than long, up to 15 centimeters long and 20 centimeters wide, with a deltoid base, shallowly lobed upper half,
and the lateral leaves inequilateral. Racemes are up to 45 centimeters in length,
while the lower nodes produce short branches and the other nodes several flowers
each. Flowers are pale blue or blue and white, 2 to 2.5 centimeters long, about 1.5
centimeters wide. Pods are about 10 centimeters long, 10-12 millimeters wide, flat
and hairy, containing 8 to 10 seeds.
In settled areas, in thickets and hedges throughout the Philippines, at low and medium altitudes.
• Roots are high in carbohydrates; good source of calcium and iron.
• Young pods are also good sources of calcium and iron.
• Seeds yield a colorless and limpid oil, 38.4%
• Seeds also yield a poisonous substance, pachyrrhizid, a glucoside; toxic to fish if
pounded and dropped in water.
• The seeds also contain a toxic resin.
• Roots are high in carbohydrates; good source of calcium and iron.
• Pounded seeds are toxic to fish; powdered seeds are reportedly fatal to dogs.
Parts used
Roots and stems.
Roots are eaten raw or prepared; pods used as vegetable.
Decoction of the roots used as a diuretic.
Warmed poultice of the stem pulp applied to painful areas in the leg.
Seeds are laxative; and the oil of seeds is purgative in doses of 40 gms.
Tincture from seeds used for treatment of herpes.
In Taiwan, roots used for fever and hemorrhages.
CNS Depressant Activity: PE seed is known to contain rotinoids, flavonoids, phenylfuranocoumarins with antifungal, antisecretory, antibacterial and spasmolytic
activities. Study showed CNS depressant effect with decreased locomotor activity,
muscle relaxation, antianxiety and antiaggressive activity.
Anti Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV): Studies on seeds of PE isolated 9 known \
cxomponents – 5 rotenoids, two isoflavonoids, one phenylfuranocoumarin and a
monosaccharide. Moderate anti-herpes
simplex virus activity was observed.
Yam bean seed poisoning: Five patients presented with signs and symptoms mimicking acute cyanide intoxication with perioral numbness, nausea and
vomiting after ingesting soup made from
yam bean seeds. One patient progressed
to severe metabolic acidosis and coma,
requiring aggressive therapy.
Anti-Osteoporosis: Study of the effects
of EA extract of root of P. erosus on bone
loss in ovariectomized rat model showed
significant prevention of bone loss in
OVX rats. Significant prevention of uterine atrophy and increased body weight
gain were observed. Results suggest a
phytoestrogen compound that could be of
benefit in postmenopausal women.
Antifungal / Phytochemicals: A dichlormethane extract yielded rotenone,
erosone, paquirrizone, dolineone and paquirrizine. The acetone extract yielded dehydroneotenone. The secondary metabolities significantly inhibited postharvest
Nutrient Analysis / Phytochemicals: Tuber showed a high level of moisture, appreciable carbohydrates, crude fiber and protein, with negligible lipid, with a caloric
value of 39 kcal per 100 g. Micro- and macro-nutrient analysis showed a potential
source of potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Tuber also
yielded significant ascorbic acid and detected thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin and folic acid.
Antioxidant: Study showed highest Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) for raw jam
bean with 50% methanol extract, and lowest with water extraction.
Widely cultivated for its edible roots.
Family • Solanaceae
Solanum melongena L.
Qie zi
Scientific names
Common names
Solanum melongena L.
Berengena (Span.)
Solanum cumingii Dunal
Brinjal (English)
Talong (Bik., Tag., Bis.,
Solanum pressum Dunal
Solanum undatum Poiret sensu
Tarong (Ilk.)
Tolung (Sul.)
Aubergine (Europe)
Eggplant (English)
Qie zi (Chin.)
Talong is a coarse, usually branched, prickly or unarmed, erect, half-woody plant,
growing to a height of 0.5 to 1 meter. Leaves are ovate to oblong-ovate, 10 to 25
centimeters long, stellate-hairy beneath, and irregularly or shallowly lobed at the
margins. Flowers are axillary, purplish, about 2.5 centimeters long. Fruit is fleshy,
smooth, purple, up to 25 centimeters long, extremely variable in shape, round,
oblong, or cylindric-oblong.
Cultivated throughout the Philippines for the edible fruit; the elongated variety,
the most cultivated.
Nowhere spontaneous.
Cultivated in all warm countries.
Fruit contains trigonelline; choline; vitamins A. B, and C; fat, 01%; and protein, 2.2 %.
Phytochemical studies have yielded flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins and steroids.
Study isolated stigmasterol, stigmasterol-ß-D-glucoside, ß-sitosterol-ß-Dglucoside, dioscin, protodioscin, and methyl protodioscin.
Roots considered antiasthmatic and stimulant.
Leaves considered anodyne.
Fruit considered cooling, digestive, phlegmatic.
Fruit is an excellent vegetable and popular in the rural day-to-day cuisine. It is
eaten before it ripens, preferred before the seed hardens.
Also used in native pickles and curries in India.
A good source of vitamins A, B, and C.
A good source of calcium, phosphorus, and iron; carbohydrates and fiber.
Decoction of roots taken internally for asthma and as a general stimulant.
Leaves are used for piles.
The boiled root of the wild plant, mixed with sour milk and grain porridge, has
been used for the treatment of syphilis.
Decoction of roots, dried stalk, and leaves is used for washing sores, exudative surfaces and used as astringent for hemorrhage from the bladder and
other hemorrhagic fluxes.
The juice of leaves used for throat and stomach troubles.
Juice of the fruit, sometimes with pounded leaves, rubbed on suspected
syphilitic eruptions of the hands.
Fruit considered cooling, and bruised with vinegar
Chinese and Annamites used the roots for skin diseases.
The fruit is considered cooling, and bruised with vinegar, is used as a poultice
for abscesses and cracked nipples.
In Taiwan folk medicine, roots are used for rheumatism, inflammation and
foot pain.
Long fruit is phlegmatic and generative of phthisis, coughs, and anorexia.
The peduncle, incinerated, used in intestinal hemorrhages, piles, and toothache.
Seeds used as stimulant but may cause dyspepsia and constipation
In French Guinea, decoction or infusion of leaves is used for stomach troubles and sore throat.
In India, juice of various plant parts and pulp of fruits of S. melongena and its
wild allies used for various ailments: diabetes, otitis, toothaches, cholera,
bronchitis, asthma, dysuria, among many others.
Hypocholesterolemic: (1) Study on human volunteers showed that S.
melongena infusion showed a significant reduction of the blood levels of total and
LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B. (2) Study of New Zealand hypercholesterolemic white rabbits fed with diets supplemented with SM fruits showed significant reduction of TC, triglycerides, and LDL, with a 24.7% increase in HDL cholesterol. The strong hypolipidemic effect with the improved HDL/LDL ratio suggests a potential benefit for its use in the treatment of hyperlipidemic-associated
ischemic heart disease and arteriosclerosis.
Bronchospasmogenic: Methanol extract of fresh leaves of SM exerted a bronchospasmogenic rather than a bronchospasmolytic effect, probably through muscarinic receptor stimulation.
Bone Marrow Protection: Study showed animals treated with both SM extract
and Doxorubicin, a potent antitumor drug, developed significantly fewer micronucleus assay and chromosomal aberrations than those treated with DXR alone.
SM are rich in flavonoids with antioxidant activities.
Antipyretic / Analgesic : Study showed the dry residue of fresh juice produced
significant antipyretic (dose-dependent) and analgesic effect. The results support
its use in traditional medicine.
Analgesic : Study of hydroalcoholic extract on formalin injection-induced pain
showed an analgesic effect not significantly different from that of 4 mg/kg of morphine sulfate
Hypotensive: Study of SM extract on normotensive rats showed dosedependent hypotensive responses possibly through its influence on the reninangiotensive system and SME-induced diuresis. It suggests SME could be a potent hypotensive agent.
Visual Benefits / Glaucoma : Study showed that Solanum melongena may be
of benefit for patients suffering from raised intraocular pressure (glaucoma) and
convergence insufficiency.
Phytochemicals / Xanthine Oxidase Inhibition: Study yielded stigmasterol,
stigmasterol-ß-D-glucoside, dioscin, protodioscin and methyl protodioscin.
The that phytosterols 1, 2 and 3 that showed strong inhibition of xanthine
Antifungal: Different extracts of S melongena leaf were evaluated against
three human pathogenic dermatophytes (Trichophyton mentagrophytes, T
rubrum and T tonsurans) and two opportunistic fungi (C albicans T beigelli). Except for the water extract, all extracts showed significant antifungal
Birth Control: Plant and allies yield glucoalkaloids (solasodine) that are under investigation as oral contraceptive for birth control.
Phenolics: The Mayo Clinic and the ADA recommended an eggplant-based
diet for the management of type 2DM. The rationale is a high fiber and low
soluble carbohydrate content of eggplant. A study proposed a more physiologically relevant explanation in the phenolic-linked antioxidant activity and
alpha-glucosidase inhibitory potential of eggplant which can reduce hyperglycemia-induced pathogenesis. It also showed moderate ACE-inhibitory activity.. The phenolic antioxidant-enriched dietary strategy also has a potential to reduce hyperglycemia-induced pathogenesis linked to cellular oxidation stress.
• Peduncles in Periodontal Disease / Antioxidant: Aqueous peduncle extracts
showed a higher capacity to scavenge free radicals than the fruit itself., increasing total antioxidant activity and glutathione levels in saliva of patients
with periodontal disease. The extracts ameliorated pockety depth and bleeding index. Results suggest peduncles of Sm used a mouthwash has a beneficial effect against periodontal diseases.
• Effect on Cholesterol-Induced Atheromatosis: Study evaluated the histological effect of Solanum melongena on experimental atheromatosis. Results
showed lipid deposits could not be seen in paraffin sections just after one
day. Vascular wall histological changes were earliest visible after 10 to 14
days with enlargement of the subendothelial space and honeycombed edema with fine dispersed lipids.
Cultivated for its edible fruit.
Scientific names
Common names
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus
Kalamismis (Tag.)
Family • Fabaceae / LegumiDolichos tetragonolobus Linn.
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus
Calamismis (Span.)
Four-angled bean
Sigarilyas (Tag.)
Goa bean (Engl.)
Short-day asparagus
pea (Engl.)
Wing bean (Engl.)
A vine with climbing stems and leaves, to a height of 3-4 meter. Leaves are pinnate or palmate to trifoliate. Bean pod is about 6 to 8 inches long, four-angled.
Flowers are large and pale to bright blue.
Seasonal cultivation.
Whole plant is edible, the beans used as vegetable; but the other parts –leaves,
flowers and roots–are also edible. Flowers used as rice and pastry colorant.
Young leaves can be pickled or prepared as vegetable, like spinach.
Good source of vitamins A and C, calcium and iron.
No known folkloric use in the Philippines.
• Antimicrobial: (1) Results of study of extract of PT pods showed activity
against B. subtilis and B. cereus, P mirabilis, E coli, S typhi, K pneumoia and C
albicans and suggested a potential source for antimicrobial compounds. (2) Methanol extract of Psophocarpus tetragonologus leaves exhibited
bactericidal effect on Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
• Fungicidal: Study of methanol extract of PT root showed no toxicity and a favorable antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans.
• Aluminum Content of Edible Portion: Study was done to evaluate the accumulation of aluminum in the edible parts of the plant: leaves, pods, seeds and
tubers. Results showed all edible portions of the plant accumulate aluminum
from high to very high levels compared to an average of less than 300 ppm in
other crop plants; the accumulation was highest in the youngest tissues, especially the roots, recording as high as 25,000 ppm.
Family • Leguminosae
Arachis hypogaea Linn.
Scientific names
Common names
Arachis hypogaea Linn.
Batung-china (Sul.)
Mani (Span., Tag.)
Peanut (Engl.)
Earth nut (Engl.)
Ground nut (Engl.)
Monkey nut (Engl.)
An annual, spreading, hairy, branched herb, with stems 30-80 cm long. Leaves
are pinnate, 8 to 12 cm long, with a clasping petiole base and the sheath produced in 2 linear-lanceolate stipules. Leaftlets are in two pairs, oblong to obovate,
2 to 5 cm long. Flowers are axillary, few, fascicled, yellow, about 8 mm long. Pods
ripen underground and are oblong, leathery, reticulate, 1-5 cm long, containing 1
to 3 seeds that are oval and smooth.
Cultivated in the many parts of the Philippines for its edible seeds.
Chmical constituents
Has a high protein and fat content, with considerable carbohydrates and a fair
source of calcium and iron.
The seeds yield arachis oil, colorless and with a pleasant taste.
The fixed oil is 43 to 45 percent.
Peanut oil contains glycerides of palmitic, oleic, stearic, lignoceric, linolic, and
arachidic acids.
Three alkaloids have been isolated: betaine, choline, and arachine which may
be a cause of poisoning in animals.
Phytochem study has yieled isoflavonoid, 1-pentene-3-ol, geraniol.
Study yielded a new coumestan, 3,9-dihydroxy-4, 8-dimethoxycoumestan.
Oil is considered aperient, demulcent, emollient and pectoral.
Considered aphrodisiac, decoagulant, anti-inflammatory, peptic.
Nutrional composition
- Seed In grams (g) or milligrams (mg) per 100 g of food.
- 500 calories per 100 g
- Protein, 29g; fat, 45 g; carbohydrate, 15 g; fiber 2.7 g.
- Minerals: calcium 49 mg; phosphorus 409 mg, iron 3.8.
- Vitamins: A, 15mg, B1, 0.79 mg; B2, 0.14 mg; niacin, 15.5 mg, vit C, 1 mg.
Parts used and preparation
Seeds, oil.
Teaspoon of oil in milk
used for gonorrhea.
Oil used for bladder conditions.
In China, used for gonorrhea and rheumatism; also
used for insomina.
In Zimbabwe, used for plantar warts.
Oil used in liniments and ointments.
Lower grades of oil used for making soap and illumination.
Peanut cake makes excellent cattle feed.
The leafage makes good fodder and hay for livestock.
Some portion of the oil is used in the manufacture of some textile fibers.
Peanut shells are used in the manufacture of plastic, wallboard, abrasives
and fuel. Also, used to make cellulose (for use in rayon and paper) and mucilage (glue).
Seeds are edible.
Kernel of the peanut used for oil extraction; an ingredient in many food products: peanut butter, candies and desserts.
Peanut oil used for salads; an inexpensive substitute for olive oil.
Peanuts also contain resveratrol, touted for its varied health benefits.
Diabets and HDL-C: Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) Consumption Improves Glutathione and HDL-Cholesterol Levels in Experimental Diabetes: Peanut consumption may improve oxidant-antioxidant status without increasing blood lipids. Increased HDL-C may have cardioprotective benefits in diabetics.
Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic: Aqueous extract study in alloxan-induced
diabetic rats caused a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar, decrease in
TC, triglycerides, LDL and HDL-C.
Antioxidant / Antiinflammatory: Biosynthesis Enhancement and Antioxidant
and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Arachidin-1,
Arachidin-3, and Isopentadienylresveratrol: Peanuts yield bioactive stilbenoids,
which except for resveratrol have not been investigated The study showed all
the test stilbenoids to have potent antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities.
Antioxidant / Luteolin: Methanolic extracts of peanut hulls (Spanish variety)
exhibited strong antioxidative activity; further study showed luteolin as the active antioxidative flavonoid present in the peanut hulls.
Immunochemical Studies: Study yielded 14 antigenic constituents in A hypogea seeds. Arachin contains 4 antigens and conarachin contains 2.
Decrease Fat Absorption / Decreased lipolytic Activity: Study of peanut
shell extracts showed inhibitory effect on lipid metabolic enzymes and also increased fecal fat suggesting use in reducing dietary fat absorption. The reduction of intracellular lipolytic activity may reduce circulating levels of free fatty acids.
Sedative / Sleep Effects: Study on peanut leaf aqueous extracts (PLAE)
showed a mild hypnotic effect on sleep ameliorations. As a mild tranquilizer, the
PLAE significantly elevated GABA-mediated neurotransmission and reduced
Glu/GABA in target brain region, suggest some efficacy on spontaneous sleep
Allergy & toxicity
Allergy: Peanut allergy is common and can be severe, occurring with a prevalence rate of 0.5% in the general population, accounting for 10-47% of foodinduced anaphylactic reactions. Symptoms vary from mild urticaria to severe
systemic reactions that can be fatal. Hypersensitivity starts in childhood and
usually lasts the lifetime. For many, the history is obvious, commonly occurring
in atopic individuals with other food allergies; laboratory will reveal a peanutspecific IgE antibody. Although immunotherapy is promising, present treatment
consists of strict avoidance and self-injection of epinephrine. (Allergen Data
Toxicity / Aflatoxins: A concern is the possible contamination of damaged or
spoiled seeds with teratogenic, carcinogenic aflatoxins – the principal toxins aflatoxin B and G, and the less toxic dihydro-derivatives, aflatoxins B2 and G2,
formed by aflatoxin producing molds (Aspergillus flavus, etc). Arachin, with 4
antigens and conarachin with 2 antigens are also reported. source
Family • Leguminosae
Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walpers
subsp. sesquipedalis (L.) Verdc.
Dou jiao
Scientific names
igna unguiculata (L.) Walp.
subsp. sesquipedalis
Vigna sinensis (L.) Hassk.
subsp. sesquipedalis
Dolichos sesquipedalis Linn.
Common names
Asparagus bean (Engl.)
Dau gok (Cantonese)
Eeril (India)
Long bean (Engl.)
Long-podded cowpea (Engl)
Yardlong bean (Engl.)
Sitaw (Tag.)
Snake bean (Engl)
String bean (Engl.)
Dou jiao (Chin.)
Sitaw is an herbaceous climbing plant grown for it strikingly long edible pods.
Leaves are trifoliate, green, oval and smooth-edged. Flowers are purplish, about
1.5 long, giving out green and slender yardlong pods.
Constituents and properties
Culinary / Nutrition
Pods are eaten fresh or cooked, best when young and slender.
Good source of protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus and potassium. A very good source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium and manganese.
100 gm give 47 calories, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 8 gms of carbohydrates and 3 gm
of protein.
No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
Antiproliferative / HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitory Activity: A lectin
with a unique hemagglutinating activity was isolated from Vigna sesquipedalis cv
ground bean. The ground bean lectin exhibited mitogenic activity on murine splenocytes. The viability of hepatoma (HepG2), leukemia (L1210 and M1) cells was
reduced in the presence of ground bean lectin while also exerting an inhibitory activity toward HIV-1 reverse transcriptase IC50.
Lipids / Phytoconstituents: Dried edible seeds of six varieties of V unguiculata
and two of P vulgaris were analyzed for chemical constituents. The paper highlights safety and nutritive values. Some composition values for VU were: protein
20.5-31%, fat 1.14-3.03%, fiber 1.70 -4.5%, carbohydrate 56-65.7%. Potassium
was the most abundant element inn the seeds
Seasonal produce.
Family • Leguminosae
BatawDolichos lablab Linn.
Scientific names
Common names
Dolichos lablab Linn.
Baglau (C. Bis.)
Dolichos purpureus
Batau (Bik., Bis.)
Glycine lucida Blanco
Bataw (Tag., Bik., P. Bis.)
Lablab cultratus DC.
Bulay (C.Bis.)
Lablab purpureus
Itab (If., Bon,)
Lablab vulgaris Savi
Parda (ilk.)
Parda-atap (ilk.)
Sibachi, sibatsi(Tag.)
Pien-tou (Chin.)
Hyacinth bean (Engl.)
Bataw is a smooth, twining, climbing or trailing vine, 4 to 6 meters long, often with
smooth, usually purplish stems. Leaves are long stalked, 3-foliate with inequilateral leaflets. Leaflets are entire, ovatre, and 7 to 15 centimeters long. Flowers are
few to many, white to pink-purple in color, about 2 centimeters long, on erect, long
peduncled racemes 15 to 25 centimeters long. Pods are oblong, flattened, purplemargined, flat, and elongated with a prominent beak, about 7 to 12 centimeters
long and 2 centimeters wide, containing 3 to 5 seeds.
Commonly cultivated throughout the settled areas in the Philippines.
In some regions, naturalized.
Now pantropic in cultivation.
Young pods are fairly good source of calcium and
Seeds yield protein, 23%; fat, 1.8%: ash, 3.5%; hydrocyanic acid, emulsin, allantoinase, and vitamin C1.
Considered tonic, febrifuge, stomachic, antispasmodic.
Boiled ripe seeds considered carminative.
Seeds considered aphrodisiac.
Flowers considered emmenagogue.
Propagation by seeds. Cultivated for market produce.
Pods are harvested about 4 months after planting.
Parts used and preparation
Leaves, bean, roots.
Edibility / Nutritional
Tender pods, seeds and young leaves used as vegetable.
Young leaves and pods are good sources of calcium, iron, vitamin C, and other
Infusion of leaves used for gonorrhea.
Poultice of leaves for snake bites.
Leaves used for menorrhagia and leucorrhea.
Juice of the leaves mixed with lime, applied
to tumors and abscesses.
Salted juice from the pods used for ear inflammation and sore throat.
The Malays make of poultice of the leaves
mixed with rice-flowers and tumeric used
for eczema.
In Indo-China, Infusion of leaves for colic;
flowers used as emmenagogue.
Flowers prescribed for menorrhagia and
Seeds are considered aphrodisiac; also
used to stop nose bleeds.
In China, boiled ripe seeds used as tonic
and carminative.
Seeds used as febrifuge, stomachic, and antispasmodic.
Family • Leguminosae
Phaseolus lunatus Linn.
Mian dou
Scientific names
Common names
Phaseolus inamoenus Blanco
Bulai-patani (Tag.)
Phaseolus ilocanus Blanco
Phaseolus tunkinensis Lour.
Phaseolus vexillatus Blanco
Buni (Bag.)
Buriñgi (Tag.)
Butiñgi (Tag.)
Phaseolus vulgaris Blanco
Gulipatan (Ibn.)
Haba (Span.)
Habichuela (Span.)
Kilkilang (Bon.)
Kopani (Bon.)
Kutakut (Bon.)
Palpadi (Ilk.)
Parda (Ilk.)
Patani (Tag., Bik., Bis., Ilk.)
Perkoles (Ilk.)
Puida (Ig.)
Zabache (Span.)
Java bean (Engl.)
Burma bean (Engl.)
Lima bean (Engl.)
Mian dou (Chin.)
Patani is a climbing, slender, annual,
smooth, sparingly hairy, herbaceous
vine reaching a length of 4 or more
meters. Leaves are thin, compound
with three leaflets which are ovate, 6 to
12 centimeters long, rounded at the
base and pointed at the tip. Flowers
are greenish or pale yellow, about 10
to 13 millimeters long, on axillary and
solitary racemes 8 to 20 centimeters
long. Pods are oblong and slightly
curved, 6 to 12 centimeters long, about
2 centimeters wide, containing 1 to 4
large, variously colored, white, greenish or purplish seeds.
Thoroughly naturalized.
A wild variety is common in thickets
at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 2,000 meters.
Extensively cultivated for its edible
Introduced from tropical America.
Now pantropic.
The seeds of the wild lima variety, especially the dark purple beans, yield
phaseolunatin, C10H17O6N, a cyanogenetic glucoside, in dangerous
amounts; very minimal in the cultivated variety.
The leaves and stems also contain phaseolunatin, but not in the roots.
Study of hydrocyanic acid content of patani varieties grown in Philippines
showed: Wild variety, 0.060-0.240; semiwild, 0.049-0.055; cultivated variety,
0.030; green beans, wild variety, 0.030; and green beans, cultivated, 0.011
percent HCN.
High in carbohydrate and protein, fair in iron, and deficient in calcium.
In isolates, protein content was found to be 71%.
Contains a number of anti-nutrients. Raw lima beans contain cyanide, trypsininhibitor, lectin, phytin and tannin. Autoclaving removes all of the antinutrients
except tannin. Soaking removes trypsin inhibitors and lectin.
Contains linamarin, a cyanogenic glucoside; safe when cooked.
The seeds of the wild lima variety may be
Edibility / Nutritional
Edible: Leaves, seeds, seedpods.
Usually eaten as a green bean or before it becomes dry and hard.
The cultivated patani is a popular
vegetable; the white variety considered the best. The colored variety
should be boiled in several changes
of water.
Toxicity concerns
A form of patani with dark-colored
seeds is common in thickets in parts of the Philippines. Seeds are edible, but
sometimes may be poisonous, and deaths have been reported.
A wild lima bean or dark-colored variety may be poisonous with dangerous
amounts of phaseolunatin. The cultivated bean is free or contains very small
quantities of this glucoside.
Hypolipidemic: In dietary-induced hypercholesterolemic rats, there was a significant reduction of serum lipids in rats fed the lima beans Legume Diet and Saponin diet which was attributed to the saponin in the legume.The resuts suggest the
consumption of lima beans can be recommended to lower cholesterol and promote cardiovascular health.
Lunatusin / Antimicrobial / Antimicrobial / Antiproliferative: Lunatusin, an anti
-fungal peptide was purified from the seeds of Chinese lima bean. It exhibited anti
-fungal and antibacterial activities, anti-proliferative activity in a breast cancer line
among other effects.
Estrogen-like Activity: Study suggested molecular mechanisms and different
pathways in the estrogen-like activities of the ethanol extracts of Adzuki bean and
Lima bean.
Trypsin Inhibitors / Reverse Transcriptase Inhibition: Study showed the trypsin inhibitor from P lunatus was able to inhibit HIV-1 reverse-transcriptase.
Lectin: Lectin-related polypeptides are a class of defense proteins found in the
seeds of Phaseolus species. Such proteins and their genes have been characterized in lima bean.
Toxicity: Raw lima beans in a feeding broiler starter diet trial hindered growth in
chicks and produced serious histopathological changes in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen and lungs.
Wild and cultivated.
Family • Cucurbitaceae
Benincasa hispida Cogn.
Tung-kua P'i
Scientific names
Common names
Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn.
Kandol (Bis.)
Benincasa cerifera Savi
Kondol (Iv., Tag.)
Curcubita hispida Thunb.
Kundal (Sul.)
Curcubita pepo-aspera Blanco
Rodal (Bik.)
Dong gua (Chin.)
Tabugok (Sub.)
Tambulok (Tagb/)
Tibiayon (Bis.)
Petha (India)
White gourd melon (Engl.)
Tung-kua P'i (Chin.)
Ash gourd (Engl.)
Wax gourd (Engl.)
Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Bai dong gua, yin dong gua
DANISH: Voksagurk
DUTCH: Waskalebas
FRENCH: Courge à la cire, Courge cireuse, Pastèque de Chine.
GERMAN: Wachskürbis, Prügelkürbis.
HINDI: Petha
ITALIAN: Zucca della cera
NEPALESE: Kubiindo, Pethaa
THAI: Faeng, Fak, Mafak khom, Mafak mon, Mafak mon khom.
TURKISH: Mom kagai.
VIETNAMESE: Bi dao, bi bee.
Cultivated for the edible fruit.
Occasionally wild.
Introduced to the Philippines.
Also occurs in India to Japan, Malaya and Polynesia in general cultivation.
Amino acids, mucins, mineral salts, vitamins B and C, fixed oil, 44%; starch, 32%;
an alkaline, cucurbitine; an acid resin; the proteids, myosin and vitellin; and sugar,
Phytochemical studies indicate two triterpenes, alunsenol and mutiflorenol, with
mast cell stabilizing effects in rats.
Major constituents of the fruit are triterpenoids, flavonoids, glycosides, saccharides,
carotenes, vitamins, ß-sitosterin, and uronic acid.
Considered astringent, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge,
styptic, tonic.
Seed is anthelmintic, antiinflammatory.
Fruit is nutritive, tonic, diuretic, alterative, and styptic.
Parts utilized
Whole fruit with seeds and skin.
Edible: Flowers, fruit, leaves, seed.
Unripe fruit is boiled and eaten as vegetable.
Ripe fruit is peeled and candied; used in pickles, curries and preserves.
The fried seeds eaten as a delicacy.
Young leaves and flower buds steamed and consumed as vegetable.
Pulp is a source of vitamins B and C.
In the Philippines fresh fruit is made into a syrup and used for disorders of
the respiratory tract.
Fresh fruit also used for hemoptysis and other hemorrhages of the internal
Fresh juice used as vehicle for administering pearl-ash for first-stage
phthisis. Also used, with or without liquorice, for insanity, epilepsy, and other
nervous disorders.
Used as antidote for various vegetable poisons, mercurial and alcoholic poisoning.
Juice of cortical portion used with powdered saffron and red rice bran for diabetes.
Preserve used for piles and dyspepsia as anti bilious food.
Seeds applied to simple skin eruptions.
Seeds, deprived of the outer covering, used as vermifuge against tapeworm
and lumbrici. Also, used as diuretic.
Seeds, incinerated, taken internally for gonorrhea.
Fruit rind is diuretic; ashes applied to painful wounds.
In Indo-China, leaves and seeds used as purgative.
Decoction of seed used for vaginal discharges and coughs.
Fresh juice used as antidote for vegetable poisons.
In China, popular for its dermatologic and cosmetic applications - for facial
blemishes; moisturizing and skin softening use; anti-wrinkle and anti-aging
skin properties; preventing sun damage.
In Japan, kondol is a component of most traditional dermatologic formulations because of its skin regenerative.
Tincture or liniments made through percolation with propylene glycol or hydro-alcoholic solution.
In Korea, used for diabetes and kidney problems
In Ayurveda, used for coughs, epilepsy, asthma, peptic ulcers. It is also the
main ingredient in "Kusumanda Lehyam", used as tonic and for various conditions like epilepsy, constipation, hemorrhoids, dyspepsia, syphilis and diabetes.
In India, used for treatment of peptic ulcer: Juice is squeezed out of grated
gourd, equal amounts of water is added, taken daily on an empty stomach,
with no food intake for 2 to 3 hours.
Fruit juice used for insanity, epilepsy.
Anti-Ulcer: Extracts of Benincasa
hispida prevent development of experimental ulcers: Used in Ayurveda
for peptic ulcers, the study showed
extracts of BH may be a natural drug
with anti-ulcer activity.
Anti-angiogenic Effect: Study
showed the seed extract of Bh decreased bFGF-induced endothelial
cell proliferation and tube formation in
a dose-dependent manner. It showed
no cytotoxicity and showed potent
inhibitory effect on bFGF-induced angiogenesis in vivo. Seed extract of
BH supports its anti-angiogenic property through inhibition of endothelial
cell proliferation.
Gastroprotective / Anti-Ulcer / Antioxidant: (1) Study results were comparable
with the omeprazole treated group. Study suggest BH possess significant antiulcer
and well as antioxidant property. (2) Study showed decrease in ulcer index in animals treated with fruit extract of Bh. BH has been shown to contain active principles – terpenes, flavonoid C, glycosides and sterols which have antioxidant effects, probably helping inhibit gastric mucosal damage by scavenging free radicals
and repressing production of superoxide dismutase.
Bronchodilator Effect: The ME of BH showed excellent protection against histamine-induced bronchospasm probably through an antihistamine activity (H1 receptor-antagonism).
Opioid Withdrawal Benefit: Study showed the juice of Bh showed significant activity against symptoms of morphine withdrawal. Results suggest a potential for Bh
in preventing the development of morphine addiction and suppression of opioid
withdrawal in animals.
Antinociceptive / Antipyretic: Study results indicate that the ethanolic extract of
Benincasa hispida possesses potent antinociceptive and antipyretic effects and
pharmacologically justifies its folkloric use for fever and pain conditions.
Antidiarrheal: Study showed the methanolic extract of fruit of Bh showed significant inhibitory activity against castor oil-induced diarrhea and inhibited PGE2 induced enteric pooling in rats. Results establish its efficacy as an antidiarrheal
Antioxidant / Alzheimer's disease: Results revealed chronic treatment of Bh
pulp extract markedly decreased lipid peroxidation level, significantly increased
superoxide dismutase, CAT and reduced glutathione level in different parts of the
brain. Study showed the antioxidant property of Bh may be beneficial in the management of colchicene-induced rat model of Alzheimer's disease.
Anorectic / Potential Anti-Obesity Benefit : Study investigated the anorectic effect of the methanol extract of Bh in Swiss albino mice. Results reveal, for a the
first time, a possible anorectic activity of Bh, probably through CNS mediation,
with no effect on gastric emptying. Further studies are suggested for its antiobesity
Diabetes : Study investigated the hypoglycemic effects of Bh in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed a possibility of therapeutic or preventive use of wax
gourd in diabetes mellitus.
Renoprotective: Study results showed Benincasa cerifera treatment prevented
renal damage induced by ischemia/reperfusion injury in hyperlipidemic rats
through decreasing of lipid peroxidation and increased antioxidant enzyme activities.
Antifungal: Study of a methanol extract of fruit showed no inhibition on bacterial
strains tested but showed significant inhibition against Candida albicans.
Anti-Inflammatory: Study of a methanolic and petroleum ether extracts of fruit of
Bh produced dose-dependent and significant inhibition of carrageenan-induced
paw edema, histamine induced paw edema and cotton pellet-induced granuloma
in a rat model.
Anti-Urolithiatic: Study evaluated the ameliorating effect of an ethanol extract of
seeds in hyperoxaluria and renal cell injury. Results showed an anti-urolithiatic effect with reduction in stone forming constituents in the urine and decreased kidney
retention that reduced the solubility product of crystallizing salts.
Hepatoprotective: Study evaluated the protective role of an aqueous extract of
pulps on diclofenac sodium-induced hepatotoxicity model in adult albino rats. Results showed restoration of biochemical changes produce by diclofenac to normal.
The significant hepatoprotective effect was through the modulation of antioxidantmediated mechanism.
Anthelmintic: Study of anthelmintic activity using Pheretima posthuma as test
worm showed an extract of fresh leaves with significant activity compared with
standard Piperazine citrate group.
Bioactive Proteins / Cytotoxicity: Study isolated three bioactive proteins from
the fruits, seeds and roots. The highest was 0.54% from the root which on cytotoxicity testing showed inhibition of proliferation of HeLa cell and K-562 cells.
Cultivated for edible fruit.
Occasionally, wild.
. . . ang mga gulay na hindi nabanggit ay ipagpapatuloy sa
susunod na issue ng BioFarmer’s Digest.

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