|Part of the study includes preparing various juice concentrates and tea preparations using these indigenous plants. These plants have been scientifically-proven to possess medical and therapeutic properties aside from food value according to study.
PHOTOS: BAR ALBUM
To increase the utilization of locally-available plants in the country, researchers from the Regional Food Processing and Preservation Center of the Department of Agriculture-RFU 9 (DA-RFU 9) and the Western Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Research Center (WESMIARC) in Zamboanga Sibugay, is conducting a study to develop and package locally-available plants for commercialization. The project titled, "Development and Promotion of Locally-Available Botanical Plants" entails the assessment of the market potential and profitability of the products, and capability building in product promotion and responding to end-user expectations.
"We want to help farmers in the rural areas particularly the low-income earners who cannot afford to buy medicines," said Erlinda G. Gadon, project leader. Gadon will soon conduct several training for farmers, their housewives, and out-of-school youth on botanical plants (plants that have herbal applications) utilization and processing (food and herbal medicine).
Part of the study includes preparing various juice concentrates utilizing botanical plants such as malunggay (leaves), lemon grass, calamansi, and yacon. Meanwhile, yerba buena, miracle leaf, lagundi, gota kola, banaba, and malunggay will be used for tea preparations. According to the project proponents, these plants have been scientifically-proven to possess medical and therapeutic properties aside from food value.
The study was funded under the project "Technology Management for Competitive Agriculture and Fisheries Sectors" of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and the National Agriculture and Fisheries Council (NAFC), through the Japan Official Development Assistance's (ODA) - KR2 Program Grant Assistance for Underprivileged Farmers.
The BAR-NAFC project aims to speed up the transfer of mature technologies for farmers' and fishers' uses for increased productivity, and generation of income through commercialization of these technologies, thus, transforming agriculture and fisheries into market-driven sectors.
The project's products are now undergoing tests by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of Philippines Diliman (UPD).