Mainstreaming IFPs for sustainable dining tables

Written by Administrator on 12 April 2021

Abundant... Abounding.

Resilient... Thriving. 

Sustainable... Secure. 

These are the qualities of our indigenous food plants. And now that the pandemic hindered us from eating our favorite foods in our favorite fast food chain, or our favorite vegetable because of the limited supply, the value of our indigenous food plants in season helped us sustain our need for food, especially for us Ilokanoes who could always do wonders with leaves and flowers. Indigenous plants served as a bridge when we no longer have camote tops to pluck for a breakfast, or some tomato to garnish our dishes, some root crops as an alternate to rice, especially to our rural community folks. To some of us, they became the ellipsis in the world chased by a period.

Good enough, a group of researchers from the Mariano Marcos State University took the bold step of introducing these indigenous food plants in the province of Ilocos Norte into the international world. Published in the Chapter 6 SEARCA’s newest publication, Methodologies Supportive of Sustainable Development in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management: Selected Cases in Southeast Asia, that was virtually launched this February 27, 2021 by the Regional SEARCA Alumni Association (RSAA) the study shares on the research results on the IFP species in Ilocos Norte, their habitat characteristics, and factors contributory to their diversity. Through this study and the expanding of its coverage, these indigenous plants commonly found in the mountains now find their ways into the dining tables, books, and mainstreams.

The research on the indigenous food plants in Ilocos Norte were conducted by MMSU researchers Menisa A. Antonio, Rodel T. Utrera, Epifania O. Agustin, Dionisio L. Jamias, and Araceli J. Badar.

The book was published by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the University of the Philippines—Los Banos with the brainchild and editor, Dr. Inocencio E. Buot, Jr.. SEARCA is one of the specialist institutions of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO).

The book is the first collaborative project publication among scholars across Southeast Asia, with support from SEARCA and the UPLB, as well as other academic institutions in the region with which the authors are affiliated.

SEARCA provided the research funds for the project on Survey and Characterization of Indigenous Food Plants in Ilocos Norte, Philippines through its Seed Fund for Strategic Research and Training (SFRT).

Indigenous Plants: What and Where They Are

The province of Ilocos Norte is rich in indigenous and traditional edible plant species. These are commonly found in mountains and mountainous areas, which thrive in the wild and are acclimatized to the local conditions. Indigenous and traditional edible plant species, which include landraces and primitive cultivars or native forms of edible crops and wild species, are important food resources in many rural communities. These plant species, lumped together as indigenous food plants (IFPs), continually sustain the food requirements of the rural people, making them integral parts of their diets. They also provide folkloric medicinal uses and supplement household income. They are usually enjoyed in the usual dinengdeng or inabraw of the Ilokanoes, as garnishes in selected dishes, and as salad dishes.  

IFPs documented, characterized, and collected were the upland or mountainous areas of 24 rural barangays from seven municipalities, namely: Vintar, Adams, Carasi, Nueva Era, Pagudpud, Bangui, and Dumalneg. From these areas, a total of 46 indigenous edible plants, belonging to 27 plant families were identified. And from these IFPs, there were 14 taxa of vines and lianas, 10 shrubs and undershrubs, 7 trees, 12 herbs, and 3 grasses and palm with edible parts that include the leaftops, fiddleheads, tender and ripened fruits, tubers, and grains. They are usually consumed as vegetable dishes—either as salad, sautéed dish, or viand cooked with fish paste. While most of these plant species are wild species, some were already being domesticated.

Considering the rugged terrain of the Ilocos Norte, these plant species thrive in varied location and elevations. These food plants thrive in agricultural lands, grasslands, and woodlands, at steep level ranging from rolling to moderately steep to very steep. Adams, though difficult to reach and has steep terrains, has a relatively cool climate and wet conditions which are favorable for plant growth and development.

Indigenous Food Plants in Ilocos Norte

The following are 46 indigenous food plants found in the vast lands of the Ilocos, especially in its mountainous areas where most of these plants are endemic and thriving under favorable condition, included in the Catalog of Indigenous Food Plants in Ilocos Norte published by the Mariano Marcos State University, prepared by Ms. Menisa A. Antonio, Dr. Epifania O. Agustin, and Ms. Araceli J. Badar.

  • Red Fiddlehead Fern (Blechnum orientale L.). This terrestrial fern, commonly known as parangipang (Isneg) and saligabo, has reddish or pinkish tops or fiddleheads, usually blanched for salad, mixed with fish paste and tomato or calamansi juice. It can also be cooked into guinatan with coconut milk.Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of flavonoids, terpenoids, and tannins in the species. It has potential as an antioxidant, anticancer, and antibacterial agent. It is also grown for ornamental purposes.

  • Climbing Fern (Stenochlaena palustris (Burm.f.) Bedd.). Commonly known as the barangbang (Ilok), this epiphytic fern with long-creeping rhizome, often climbs high up trees. The young frons are blanched for salad, or cooked into guinatan with coconut milk.

  • Tree Fern (Cyathea contaminans (Wall.) Copel.)This tree fern is commonly known as pusa pusa (Ilok) and pakong buwaya (Tag). It is mostly a terrestrial fern with its heartwood (ubog) boiled for salad or cooked into viand together with other vegetables and/or sardines. It is also grown for ornamental purposes, with its trunk serving as anchor for ornamental species such as orchids and bird’s nest. The chipped trunk can also be mixed in potting media for horticultural purposes.

  • Vegetable Fern (Diplazium esculentum (Retz.) Sw.)This vegetable fern is known as pako or pakpako (Ilok), Paku-sayur (Indo), and Kuware-shida (Jap). The young fronds are blanched for salad, or cooked into guinatan with coconut milk. It is commonly used as vegetable in eastern and southeastern Asia.

  • Fern (Diplazium sp.). Young fiddleheads of this terrestrial fern, commonly known as sibanglan or pako a dadakkel (Ilok), are blanched for salad, or cooked with coconut milk into guinatan.

  • Elephant foot Yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson). This monocot is commonly known in English as elephant foot yam, corpse flower, devils tongue, snake palm, and voodoo lily, and tigi (Ilok) and pungapung (Tag). Petioles of young unexpanded leaves are prepared in the same manner as taro, cooked into vegetable viand, or sautéed. Leaf and stalk are also used as boiled feedstuff for hogs. In food value, this food is comparable to squash and superior to yambean.

  • Taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott). Taro, or cocoyam is commonly known as aba and  lampakan (Ilok), and gabi (Tag). There are thirteen varieties of taro found in the province, to include 1) turtoriko or swako-swako, an upland type; 2) lampakan, an upland type, with two kinds in Dumalneg, the rekket and ampak; 3) aba-kikilawen; 4) siway, with purple tuber with or without black streaks; 5) pamplona or yokyok, with purple tuber with or without black streaks; 6) burikan, with yellow tuber; 7) kawagas, with white tuber; 8) marag, with yellow tuber; 9) arimbolo, with yellow tuber; 10) betaw-betaw, with petiole and tuber color ranging from red violet, whictish green, to purplish; 11) al-aluten, with tubers either blackish, purple, yellow, or white with purple or dark dotsand streaks; 12) immallod; and 13) daldalakiten or agdaldaludal. Except for turtoriko and lampakan which are grown in upland or well-drained areas, the rest of these ‘varieties’ are grown in wetland, riven banks, and other moist areas. Gabi is prepared as vegetable viand cooked with coconut milk into guinatan, or with other vegetables into dinengdeng. The petiole of aba-kilkilawen is eaten raw or blanched for salad; prepared by removing the peel, slicing, blanching, washing with salt, then adding desired seasoning such as salt, ginger, and broiled fish. For daldalakiten, only the runner is edible. For lampakan and turtoriko, only the corm is edible; lead and petiole are used as feedstuff for pigs. For the rest of the ‘varieties’, all parts are edible.

  • Bilagot (Schismatoglottis sp.). This wild vegetable in many towns of Ilocos Norte, now domesticated in Adams, Dumalneg, Bangui, and Nueva Era in moist areas, stream banks, or near water reservoir, is commonly known as bilagot (Ilok), lanipao (Ilok), and pikaw (Ting.). It is usually served as vegetable dish, where the leaves (blade and petiole) are arranged in a pot and cooked without peeling and slicing. It follows the same cooking manner as taro, with fish paste, coconut milk, dried fish or dried wild pig meat (tapang-alingo). Crushed leaved are also used to revive a fainting person, a use probably accounted for its strong astringent or anise smell.

  • Rattan (Calamus trispermus Becc.). This wild climbing palm, commonly known as giwi (I-apayao, Ting.) and uay (Ilok), has an edible heartwood (ubog), roasted or boiled for salad, or cooked into vegetable and with fish paste, but with an extremely bitter taste. Ripe fruits are eaten raw, used to flavor dish sinigang, or used as raw material in wine making. The canes are also used for tying and furniture making.

  • Large Fishtail Palm (Caryota rumphiana Mart. var. philippinensis Becc.). This erect, solitary palm is commonly known as anibong (Ilok). The heartwood (ubog) of this plant is edible, prepared by removing leaf sheaths to expose the heartwood, cleaned and sliced thinly into desired sizes. The sliced parts are cooked into salad or viand mixed with fish paste or sardines. It is also cultivated or landscape or ornamental purposes.

  • Buga (Dioscorea esculenta (Lour.) Burkill subsp.spinosa Antonio et al.). This wild left-twinning vine, known as buga (Ilok), grows wild in low to mid-elevation forsts and thickets on the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, and Cagayan. The tubers are boiled, broiled or cooked into guinatan for snack; processed into jam or halaya, or cooked as vegetable viand (locally called inabraw, dinengdeng) together with leafy vegetables such as malunggay leaves or squash flowers. Tubers are also used as boiled feedstuff for hogs.

  • Asiatic Bitter Yam (Dioscorea hispida Dennst.). This prickly vineis commonly known as karot (Ilok) and nami (Tag). The tubers of this plant contains dioscorine, a toxic compound which induces nauseas and vomiting, however, can be eaten provided they are properly detoxified. This indigenous detoxification and processing is called panag-unab. Detoxified slices are fried, added on top of cooked rice giving it a desirable taste. Detoxified slices are also sundried prior to storage, and later cooked as mentioned.

  • Kamangeg (Dioscorea luzonensis Schauer). This right-twinning vine is growing wild in dry areas at low to mid-elevation forests and thickets in all towns of Ilocos Norte except Adams. The tuber is cooked into guinatan or boiled for snack. Tuber is also cooked into viand with other vegetables such as malunggay, squash flowers, and winged bean and patola fruits.

  • Traditional Upland Rices (Oryza sativa L.). Varieties are Parina, Isat, Palawan, At-atay, Samsam, Pamplona, Sinad-an, Dangrat, Inu-nudan, Agonoy, U-uwak/Osa-osa, Dagguk, Twao, Limon, Wenan, Azucena, Sinayawan, Ginaang, Baruyan, Duyduyan, Dalayap, Banug, Apahan, Langanay, Binaluluwan, Inatawan, Amaya, Lundisan, Liyaw, Lingo, Langanay, Baka-baka, Balsamo, and Ballatinao, commonly called Isek, Maluit, and Malikte in the municipalities of Vintar, Currimao, Pasuquin, Paoay, and the City of Batac. These are commonly consumed as table rice. Ballatinao is used mainly in native delicacies such as suman while At-atay  is processed in the local rice wine, tapuey, in Adams, Ilocos Norte.

  • Ducklettuce (Ottelia alismoides (L.) Pers.). Commonly known as tarabang (Ilok), and kalabua (Tag), young leaves of this plant are blanched for salad, mixed with vinegar, salt, and some more seasonings.

  • Polynesian Arrowroot (Tacca leontopetaloids (L.) Kuntze). This stemless herb, also known as bat flower (Engl) and pannarien (Ilok), can be processed into flour and cooked into delicacies like pudding. It can also be added to kaning-sinigang, giving it a glutinous texture and desirable aroma. In Asian countries, the starch is used to stiffen fabrics, and the stem’s fibers are woven into mats. In traditional Hawaiian medicine, the raw tubers are eaten to treat stomach ailments. When mixed with water and red clay, the plant can be consumed to treat diarrhea and dysentery. This combination is also used to stop internal hemorrhage in the stomach and colon and applied to wounds to stop bleeding.

  • Tarosi (Alpinia brevilababris C. Presl. The rhizome of this plant is edible and can be eaten raw or boiled.

  • Susong Kalabaw (Uvaria rufa Blume). Commonly known as allagat (Ilok) and susong kalabaw (Tag), this climbing schub has edible fruits with a sweet-sour taste. The wood is used as s substitute to rattan in making furniture and handicrafts.

  • Kapas-kapas (Telosma procumbens (Blanco) Merr.). A favourite plus to viand, this plant is commonly known in Ilocos Norte as kapas-kapas, ampupuyat, sabiddokong, saguyepyep, barbarkilya, and pusa-pusa, langted in Ilocos Sur, and bagbagcong and panpandayukan in La Union. Inflorescence and young fruits are cooked in combination with other vegetables for dinegdeng. This plant is wild but is now domesticated in home gardens as they can be propagated by seeds and vine cuttings. This is also repoprtedly an endemic species found in thickets and low altitude forests in Ilocos Norte, Sorsogon, Mindoro, Leyte, Negros, Mindanao, and Basilan.

  • Fragrant manjack (Cordia dichotoma G. Forst.). This plant is also known as bird lime tree (Eng) and anonang-bakir (Ilok). Its tops and yong leaves can be blanched for salad.

  • Watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. Br.). This herb is known as tapsuy (Ilok), found in ponds and freshwater in Adams, Ilocos Norte. Its tops are blanched for salad, mixed with tomato or vinegar and fish paste. Leaves, stems, and flowers have peppery, tangy flavor. Leaves and stems can also be cooked with mungbean for viand. This plant is rich in Vitamins C, B1, B6, and E, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.

  • Rattail dish (Raphanus caudatus L.). Also known as podding radish (Eng) and rabanos (Ilok), young pods of this plant is a favourite ingredient in pinakbet. They can also be pickled with vinegar (with or without hot pepper) for appetizer. Leaves can also be eaten raw (with fish paste and calamansi or dalayap juice. Flowers can also be blanched for salad.

  • Redflower ragleaf (Crassocphalum crepedioides (Benth.) S. Moore). Also known as marakapon and sandeko in Ilokano and bulak manok in Tagalog, the young leaves of this coarse annual herb can be blanched for salad, mixed with tomato, fish paste, and onion bulb, or cooked with other vegetables for viand.

  • Sponge gourd (Luffa cylindrical (L.) M. Roem.). Young fruits of this plant are cooked in broth together with other vegetables, or sautéed. This is also called tabao-tabao, kabatiti-aso, and kabatiti-banlo in Ilokano and patola in Tagalog.

  • Bitter melon (Momordica charantia L.). Also known as bitter gourd (Eng), ampalaya (Tag), and paria-bakir, paria-aboyo, and simaron (Ilok), the fruits of this plant are cooked into pinkabet or viand while its tops and flowers are be blanched for salad or cooked with mungbean and other leafy vegetables.

  • Baby Jackfruit (Momordica cochinchinensis (Lour.) Spreng.). This wild plant is widely distributed in Ilocos Norte—wild, in thickets, hills, mountains, and marginal areas, and can be domesticated as in some areas. It is called sugod-sugod, parog-parog, and libas in Ilokano; balbas bakiro and buyok-buyok in Tagalog; baby jackfruit, spiny bitter gourd, sweet bitter gourd, and conchinchin gourd in English; and gac in Vietnamese, the young fruits of this vine can be cooked for vegetable viand together with other vegetables and fish past, or sautéed. Tops can also be blanched for green salad, or cooked as viand together with other leafy vegetables or mungbean seeds. Fruits of this viand contain up to 70 times the amount of lycopene in tomato, and up to 10 times the amount of beta-carotene of carrot or sweet potato. The fruit also contains a protein that may inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.

  • Katmon (Dillenia philippinensis Rolfe.). This plant is known as Katmon (Tag) and palali (Ilok), commonly found in medium to high elevations in Adams, Pagudpud, and Surong Valley of Vintar, Ilocos Norte. The fresh fruits of this plant is edible, with sour and juice characteristics. The pulp is used as souring ingredient in fish dishes, such as sinigang.

  • Velvet Bean (Mucuna curranii Elmer). This vine is commonly known as babaoging (Ilok) and sabawel (Ilok, in Surong Valley, Vintar, Ilocos Norte). The young pods of thi s vine can be prepared for vegetable viand while its flowers, commonly called barawbaw, can be blanched for salad or viand. Mature seeds are often eaten for vegetable prepared and cooked in same manner as mungbean and cowpea seeds, and can be broiled, ground finely, and brewed for coffee.

  • Turnip (Pachyrrhizus erosus (L.) Urb.). This vine is known as the wild-type jicana, turnip, and yambean (Eng) and singkamas-bakir and kamas (Ilok), and singkamas (Tag). The young pods of this vine can be cooked into viand while young taproots can be eaten raw with or without vinegar.

  • Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.). Known as rosil or rosel in Ilokano and Roselle in English, the calyx and young leaves of this annual shrub can be used as souring ingredient in the native dish, sinigang and pinakbet. Seeds can also be roasted, gournd, and brewed for coffee (with a favorable peanut-like aroma. Calyx are also prepared into jam, jellies, beverages, and wine. The plant also yield bast fiber from the stems.

  • Guest Tress (Kleinhovia hospital L.). Also called bitnong (Ilok) and tan-ag (Tag), this tree has young leaves, tops, and sprouts eaten as vegetable. Such use was documented among indigenous people in Pungao in Sto. Nino, Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte.

  • Green carpetwood (Mollugo verticallata L.). Widely known as papain (Ilok), the shoots and young leaved of this rapidly spreading, creeping, somewhat succulent herb are blanched for salad, mixed with fish paste and tomato, apt for its moderate to extremely bitter taste. This plant has potential in lowering blood sugar level with active components such as alkaloids, saponins, fixed oils, steroids, and proteins.

  • Birch flower (Broussonetia luzonica (Blanco) Bur.). Known as allukon (Ilok) and himbabao (Tag), the male inflorescences and tops of this tree are cooked into viand. It grown in hills and low elevation areas in nearly all towns of Ilocos Norte, with flowers available from December to January (early flowering), February to April (regular season), until May (late flowering).

  • Agimet (Ficus minahasse (Teijsm. And De Vr.) Miq.). Commonly called agimet (Ilok) and hagimit (Tag), the fruits of this tree are eaten raw when ripe, with its sweet-sour taste.

  • Palm-like Fig (Ficus pseudopalma Blanco). This erect, glaborous, monopodial shrub is commonly known as reprepolyo and it-it in Ilokano and niyog-niyogan in Tagalog. The young leaves of this plant are prepared into salad or viand cooked with coconut milk (guinatan).

  • Karimbubet (Olax imbricate Roxb.). Also known as karindyubet (Ilok), the tops and young leaves of this small tree are blanched for salad, and can be added to pinakbet, a vegetable viand.

  • False Olive (Champereia manillana (Blume) Merr.). This small tree is commonly known as pannalayapen, apeng, and banitog in Ilokano. The tops and young leaves of this tress are boiled for salad, can be added to pinakbet and vegetable salad, or cooked singly into pinakbet with kamias fruit. According to old folks, tops should only be gathered from plants which are regularly-topped for it to be safely eaten without causing diarrhea.

  • Roseleaf raspberry (Wild-type) (Rubus rosifolius Sm.). Also known as barinit (Ilok) and sapinit (Tag), this spiny shrub is rarely cultivated and is wildly growing in low to high elevation areas in Adams, and only in high elevation areas in Carasi, in moist, open, or partly-shaded areas. The fruits of this plant are edible, eaten raw when ripe. They are also used in wine-making in Adams, Ilocos Norte. A decoction of roots is given as an expectorant, and a decoction of the fruits is given as a gargle. Two compounds of the 19-l-hydroxyursane type extracted from the fruits exhibited growth inhibition specific to colon tumor cells.

  • Native Round Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Also known as libokeg (Isneg), the fruits of this branched herb are cooked into viand or pinakbet cooked with fish paste and can be used for garnishing of other dishes.

  • Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum frutescens L.). This glabrous annual herb is known as silit’ sairo nad puriket in Ilokano, and siling-labuyo in Tagalog. It’s fruits can be pickled with vinegar for hot sauces and its tops for tinola.

  • Black nightshade (Solanum americanum L.). Known as amsi or amsit and am-amsi in Ilokano and balauran in Tingguian, the tops of this herb can be added in tinola and fish sinigang, or blanched for salad, with the young fruits for pinakbet or viand cooked with fish paste and dried fish.

  • Tomato-eggplant (Solanum lasiocarpum Dunal). This prickly herb is known aas balballosa (Ilok) and bisula (Ting). The young fruits of this herb can be cooked into pinakbet, alone with fish paste and is often served to local and foreign tourists. Prior to cooking, the wooly fruits are cleaned first with wood ash by shaking them in a container or plastic jar. The fruits are then individually removed off their sepals and remaining hairs.

  • Currant Tomato (Wild cherry type) (Solanum pimpinellifolium L.). In Ilokano, this branching vine is known as botbotonis, botbotinggan, and lamlamusit. The fruits of this vine are edible and the crushed leaves serve ss tropical cure for ‘kulebra’, a form of skin disease.

  • Alukon (Poikilospermum suaveolens (Blume) Merr.). This woody climber is also known as sarsarapa (Ilok) and hanopol (Tag). The young stipules, for green vegetable, are prepared as salad or cooked into viand with other vegetables.

  • Ayong-Kabayo (Tetrastigma harmandii Planch.). This climbing vine is known as orro in Ilocos Norte, ariwat in Cagayan, bariwatwat in Mt. province, and ayong-kabayo in Tagalog. The young leaves and fruits of this vine are used as souring ingredient or flavoring in pinakbet, fish sinigang, or boiled fish. When used for boiled fish, the young leaves are arranged and lined up in the kettle before putting the fish to be cooked.

Copies of this catalogue are available at the Main Library of the MMSU and the ILAARRDEC. The University Library may be reached at uls@mmsu.edu.ph and ILAARRDEC at ilarrdec@yahoo.com for inquiry and reservation of copies. 

Health and Nutrition for Families 

Just like the other vegetables, most of these IFPs in Ilocos Norte are prepared with the value of frugality embedded in its preparation. Sprouts, tops, young leaves, fruits—all these can be sources of nutrition and additional taste for the tastebuds. Just like camote tops, they can be blanched and seasoned with a little of salt or fish paste to complement the tomato. And among others, they can be added to tinola, sinigang, the local pinakbet, and vegetable viand cooked with other vegetables.

                As they also possess added nutritive values, these IFPs are organic cures and legitimate source of nutrients cannot be found, or of lesser quantity in some other vegetables. Tasting almost similar to other mainstreamed vegetables, these food plants are keys in diversifying foods serve in dining tables, enriching gardens for a shared property in mainstreaming these IFPs, and in promoting and conserving these IFPs.

Turning Point for Tourism

Some of the IFPs are site-specific, with high elevation areas as locations of diverse IFPs. Given the blooming agri-tourism and rural tourism for simple life and relaxing sceneries, these IFPs have the potential of being a unique delicacy for a specific municipality. The Adams, for example, with its rich landscape and flora and fauna, is a growing tourist destination. Either as a common local food for newcomers or as sophisticated dish for local tourists, these IFPs may find better value as a tourism complement that should carry the values and valor of the people preparing it.

Moreover, with the emergence of garden-like resorts, and farm-like tourism sites, these IFPs can be a potential tourism destination with its colors and peculiarities. From brighter light colors to verdant green and dark flashes, these IFPs are a sight to behold just like other vegetables. Just like the IFP Nursery of the MMSU located at the back of the Crops Research Laboratory (CRL) Building (visit us!), everyone is capable of enriching their home gardens and community gardens. Especially good for garden- and resort-owners who can bank on farm-to-fork theme, health conscious fellows are always wiling to pay for the good and right price of safe, healthy, and organic foods.

Opportunities for Expansion and Mainstreaming 

Our IFPs are at par with other vegetables, however, their indigeneity to be hindering them from reaching wider recognition. While some may be seasonal and site specific, their value as a food for the locals is already a richness that need to be shared to other people to diversify food reaching our dining tables.

Incorporating the IFPs in the mainstream, the following can be done in a bigger scale to support these IFPs and help contribute to a food secure and sustainable families and communities, with support from all stakeholders where these IFPs are located.

Academe and R&D Institutions

  • Pro-active search on nutritive components of IFPs as well as development of new recipes and processed products
  • Adaptability and domestication trial on wild plant varieties
  • Improvement of cultural management practices for increased productivity
  • Wider IEC on the importance of IFPs and how people can help in conserving them

Local and Provincial Government Units 

Promulgation of local ordinances on:

  • Identification and conservation of endemic or rare plant species’ habitats
  • Banning massive collection and ‘export’ of unique species
  • Integrating IFPs and institutionalization of barangay and home gardens in all municipal Clean and Green Programs
  • Establishment of community genebanks or seedbanks

Department of Education 

  • Integrate IFPs on gardening activities of both junior and senior high schools in Ilocos Norte

Forwarding IFP in the Future’s Roadmap

As the province is a young blooming province, the diverse flora and fauna is a natural complement in this blooming for tourism. And with the Ilocos brand of food and flavor, these IFPs is a great ally in transforming and bringing people to appreciate the Ilocos landscape and the flavors and aroma it has sprung from its nurturing bosom.

Who knows? Aside from Ilocos being known as the Windmill capital of the North, or the Saud Beach internationally recognized for its beauty and grandeur, it would also be a pride to have Ilocos Norte, or Region 1 at that, as the IFP Capital of the Philippines.

In the end, as what was written in the catalog, ‘people cannot conserve what they don’t know; they don’t protect what they don’t value’.

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