Introduction of indigenous vegetables in the vegetable agroforestry (VAF) system in Lantapan watershed, Philippines
L.M. Engle; F.C. Faustino; A. Mercado, Jr.
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Abstract: The collaborative project between AVRDC and TMPEGS-Philippines under the sponsorship of USAID-SANREM CRSP aims to introduce indigenous vegetable (Iv) germplasm to the agroforestry system in Lantapan watershed, identifying vegetable varieties suitable for cultivation with trees. Introduction of Ivs could enhance plant biodiversity in the area, leading to diversification of farmers’ production systems and raising household incomes. Using different kinds of Ivs also could improve family nutrition.
A field day was conducted Sept. 22, 2007, in Barangay Kibangay, Lantapan, Bukidnon, to meet these objectives, Other Goals were to teach villagers the philosophy of conservation and utilization of plants, and to document local knowledge of indigenous vegetables medicinal values. The Ivs introduced were 20 accessions from the Genetic Resources and Seed Unit, AVRDC, and five species of tree vegetables native to the Philippines. Five popularly grown exotic vegetables were also included. More than 60 people participated, 35 percent of them women. At least 28 percent of participants raise and sell their own produce. When participants evaluated the vegetables for adaptability and General acceptability, more than 60 percent identified the following with potential for adoption in their locality: spineless white TOT5474 and purple TOT7278 amaranths, roselle, and local tree vegetables malunggay, bago, katuray, and alikway. Among the exotic vegetables, bell pepper, carrot, and an improved tomato line were preferred. Villagers Generally preferred Ivs that were relatively new to them and preferred them in cooked form rather than raw. Constraints to growing Ivs were unfamiliarity with the crop, unavailability of seeds and potential markets, and lack of knowledge about cultivation and utilization. In selecting desirable Ivs, more than 60 percent of participants considered overall appearance, leaf/fruit color, taste, nutritional value, shelf life, availability of seeds, marketability, non-seasonality, and tolerance/resistance to pests, insects, and diseases as their bases.
The activity also gave the team an opportunity to document knowledge of indigenous vegetables medicinal values.