Tomato: Not just for salads

IS IT “tuh-MAY-toh” or “tuh-MAH-to”? Whichever, pronunciation doesn’t matter when it comes to this fabulous nutritious crop once considered as poisonous. A botanist mistakenly took the tomato for the “wolf peach” referred to by Galen in his third century writings, that is, “poison in a palatable package which was used to destroy wolves.”

But the question that is still debatable: Is tomato really a vegetable or is it a fruit. By definition, a fruit is the edible plant structure of a mature ovary of a flowering plant, usually eaten raw and tomato can be categorized as such.

From the point of view of horticulturists, tomato is considered a vegetable plant.

Since “vegetable” is not a botanical term, there is no contradiction in a plant part being a fruit botanically while still being touted as a vegetable.

According to Andrew F. Smith’s The Tomato in America, the tomato probably originated in the highlands of the west coast of South America, where they grow wild in what is now Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador. They were first cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas as early as 700 AD.

After the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Spanish distributed the tomato throughout their colonies in the Caribbean. They also took it to the Philippines, whence it moved to Southeast Asia and then the entire Asian continent.

The Spanish also brought the tomato to Europe. It grew easily in Mediterranean climates, and cultivation began in the 1540s. It was probably eaten shortly after it was introduced, and was certainly being used as food by the early 1600s in Spain.

The tomato plant was probably not grown in England until the 1590?s. One of the earliest cultivators was John Gerard, a barber-surgeon. Gerard’s Herbal, published in 1597 and largely plagiarized from continental sources, was also one of the earliest discussions of the tomato in England. Gerard knew that the tomato was eaten in both Spain and Italy.

Meanwhile, in Italy, thanks to tomato, pizza came to existence. Pizza was invented around Naples in the late 1880’s. The story goes that it was created by one restaurateur in Naples to celebrate the visit of Queen Margarite, the first Italian monarch since Napoleon conquered Italy.

The restaurateur made the pizza from three ingredients that represented the colors of the new Italian flag: red, white, and green. The red is the tomato sauce, the white was the mozzarella cheese, and the green was the basil topping. Hence, Pizza Margarite was born, and is still the standard for pizza.

In the United States, soup mogul Joseph Campbell came out in 1897 with condensed tomato soup, a move that set the company on the road to wealth as well as further endearing the tomato to the general public.

He may have made tomato soup popular, but the first recipe was credited to Maria Parloa whose 1872 book The Appledore Cook Book described her tomato chowder.

So much for history! The English word “tomato” comes from the Aztec word, tomatl. Botanist Tournefort provided the Latin botanical name, Lycopersicon esculentum. The French referred to the tomato as pommes d’amour, or love apples, as they thought them to have stimulating aphrodisiacal properties. Among Filipinos, tomato is called kamatis.

In most parts of the world, tomatoes are eaten freely, and their consumption is believed to benefit the heart among other things. They contain lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidant which has been found to help prevent prostate cancer.

Tomato extract is now also being promoted for treatment of high blood pressure. Lycopene has also been shown to improve the skin’s ability to protect against harmful ultraviolet rays.

In the Western diet, tomato is the top source of Vitamin A and C. It also contains a significant amount of dietary fiber, beta-carotene, iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin and thiamine.

Nutritionists claim tomato is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. And unlike most foods, cooking or processing of tomato is beneficial to health. It increases its lycopene content (e.g. tomato paste, catsup, tomato soup, tomato sauce).

This is so because as heating up tomato breaks down its cell walls and releasing more lycopene. Test also shows that eating tomatoes has more benefits (with all of its other ingredients) than taking lycopene alone.

In the Philippines, the great variety of its uses leads to its popularity. It is one of the most common ingredients in salads. It is made into soup, pickle, catsup, sauce, and juice. Tomato is served raw, baked, stewed and as a sauce with various other foods.

There are two types of tomatoes grown in the country. The fresh market or table tomatoes are planted in both dry and wet season. Wet season is planting is more risky because tomatoes are very susceptible to pests and diseases brought about by continuous rain and high temperature.

The second type is the processing tomato planted only during the dry season especially in areas supposed to be idle such as lowland rice fields. Processing tomatoes are needed for industrial purposes in the manufacture of paste, sauce, and catsup.

Although tomatoes thrive on many types of soil, a fairly fertile, well-drained soil reasonably free from root-knot nematodes and bacterial wilt organism is best. A sandy loam soil is ideal especially when an early yield is desired. For longer and later yields, heavier soils are preferable.

“Tomato is generally considered a warm season crop that requires a relatively long season to productive profitable yield,” reminds the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Batac, Ilocos Norte. “The ideal planting for maximum production is from October to January to avail of the cool and dry climate growth and good fruit setting.”

Written by By Henrylito D. Tacio

Source: Sun Star

Blessings in disguise

Sometimes what some people consider as misfortune might actually turn out to be blessings in disguise. Just like, for instance, what happened to Nestor Urbien of Magsingal, Ilocos Sur. Urbien is an agriculture graduate who went to Saudi Arabia to work for a big dairy company there.

In the first two years, he considered his salary of $300 per month as good enough. But after that when cheap labor arrived in Saudia Arabia from countries like Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, his monthly pay was cut to only $150 a month. He could not take that and so he returned to his hometown to do his own brand of farming.

It turns out that the reduction of his pay was a blessing in disguise. He has since been making a lot more money from farming than the dollars he made from Saudi Arabia. He is now one of the most successful farmers in his province. In fact, in 2000, he was adjudged the most outstanding corn farmer of the year, receiving a cash prize of P25,000. As a regional winner, he also received a prize of P10,000.

This past season, he planted five hectares to hybrid corn and got more than seven tons per hectare which he sold at P16,000 per ton or P112,000 per hectare which he produced at a cost of about P40,000.

Ramilito Barte of Latucan, Sariaya, Quezon is another interesting story whose misfortune was a blessing in disguise. In 1994, he was a victim of a fake recruiter whom he paid more than P100,000 in supposed placement and other fees for a factory job in Taiwan. The recruiter ran away with his money and never showed up again.

Because of that misfortune, he turned to vegetable farming. He has been planting the high-yielding vegetable varieties like Morena eggplant, Diamante tomato, Django finger pepper and now Glactica ampalaya. He has been making a lot more than what he could have made as a factory in Taiwan. He has built a concrete house for his family, owns a tricycle to transport passengers, a motorcycle , and some money-making projects. He buys fattening cattle which he disperses to other farmers. Read about him in Panorama magazine this Sunday, April 5.


Source: Manila Bulletin

Ampalaya in Capsules in the Philippines

Did you know that young ampalaya plants, when powdered and processed into capsules, can effectively lower the blood sugar of diabetics.

The young leaves and fruits of ampalaya are rich in iron, calcium, vitamin B and carbohydrates.

These findings are significant considering that there are more than 50 million diabetics in the world today. According to the Diabetes Foundation of the Philippines, more than two million Filipinos of all ages are afflicted with the disease. The mortality rate has been increasing due to the high cost of medication and care.

Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by hereditary or acquired deficiency in the production of insulin by the pancreas. The result is increased concentration of glucose or blood sugar in the body. In addition, diabetes is a complicated disease that can cause malfunctions of the heart and kidneys. It is also a major cause of blindness.

This antidiabetic capsule from ampalaya can be attributed to two scientists of the Philippine Council of Health Research and development, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) – Donata Aguila and Raquel Abulencia. The two scientists have been conducting research on medicinal plants to develop safe, effective, low-cost medicines from local sources.

Nutritionists now also recognize the importance of regularly including ampalaya in the diet to help non-diabetics avoid acquiring insulin deficiency. (E.F. Palapala, S&T Media Service)


Cleopatra ate saluyot

Did you know that saluyot or jute leaves, the popular Ilocano favorite vegetable originated in Egypt? And it was the source of health and beauty of Egyptian royalties including Cleopatra? You might as well eat saluyot, too?if you want to look young, healthy, and beautiful.

Saluyot leaves are rich in beta-carotene for good eyesight, iron for healthy red blood cells, calcium for strong bones and teeth, and vitamin C for smooth, clear skin, strong immune cells, and fast wound-healing.

Saluyot thrives almost anywhere in the country, requires little care in cultivation, and can be grown year-round.

One-half cup of cooked saluyot leaves (45g) contains 20kcal, 1.3g protein, 0.3g fat, 3.1g carbohydrates, 0.4g fiber, 87.3mg calcium, 22.5mg phosphorus, 1334µg ß-carotene or 222µg retinol equivalent (vitamin A), 1.0mg iron, 0.02mg thiamin, 0.04mg riboflavin, 0.3mg niacin, and 10mg ascorbic acid or vitamin C.

Moreover, saluyot has antioxidant activity of 77% or µ-tocopherol equivalent (vitamin E) of 48.9. In other words, saluyot contains all the important nutrients the body needs.

Free radicals are highly unstable by-products created by our body as its cells use oxygen. Because they are so unstable, free radicals react easily with many chemicals inside the cells. These reactions can cause tremendous damage to the delicate cellular control mechanisms. When those mechanisms are damaged, the cell may malfunction or die.

Biologists tell us that cumulative cell damage is the cause of many common degenerative diseases such as arthritis, hardening of the arteries, heart and kidney ailments.

Vitamins A, C and E present in saluyot, sponge-up free radicals, scooping them up before they can commit cellular sabotage.

Regular saluyot consumption can make you look younger due to its high antioxidant activity. Eating saluyot reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines in the face and body.

Saluyot can be prepared into dishes like dinengdeng of the Ilocano, bulanglang, or sauteed with bamboo shoots or dried beans. It can be steamed and pureed, mixed with chicken, and prepared into soup like the Japanese’s molohiya.

Written by: By Dr. Lydia M. Marero of Food and Nutrition Research Institute

[For more information on food and nutrition, you may write or call The Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology, Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, Tel/Fax: 8372934, 8373164; E-mail:; FNRI-DOST website: http//]


The “Malunggay Para sa KK” Project (henceforth referred to as the Project) is a joint undertaking of EARTH Institute Asia, Inc. (EARTH) and Secura International Corporation (Secura), EARTH is a non-stock, non-profit organization that promotes environmental protection and sustainable development and has the radio program Kalikasan, Kaunlaran! (KK!) at DZRH-AM radio. Secura is a Filipino-owned corporation that produces natural ingredients and fruit enzymes and provides sustainable livelihood opportunities in the countryside.

Participants in this Project may also join the “2M Puno Para sa KK” Project, a joint project of EARTH and Manila Jaycees that includes contests on Best Environmental and Sustainable Development (ESD) Plan and Best ESD Project, with each participant using tree planting as a core undertaking for a broader ESD Project addressing local concerns.

Through these two projects, EARTH participates in the “Trees for Life” Project of the GREEN Army that is supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

This Project involves the planting and nurturing of malunggay (or moringa) trees by Project participants and the purchase by Secura, with EARTH as Witness, of the malunggay seeds that will be produced thereafter. A Purchase Agreement (PAg) will be executed initially for the first five years, renewable for another five years each time. The Project also includes the establishment by Secura and its investors of a processing plant for the malunggay seeds, if the total area planted with malunggay trees exceed 1,000 hectares within a 50-kilometer radius from a potential site of about five hectares for the plant

Secura International Corporation:

Company Secura International Corp.
Address 707 Cityland Shaw Tower
City Mandaluyong City
Area of Operation National
Business Industry Agricultural Products
Business Type Manufacturer
Contact Person Danilo Manayaga
Position President & CEO
Phone +6326374982
Fax +6322840620


Highway near Tarlac-Pangasinan boundary. Carmen, Municipality of Rosales, Pangasinan


To provide hands-on experience on actual field practices for adapted technology from Taiwan for the commercial production of selected vegetables using F1-HYBRID varieties. This simple and doable technology has been proven effective in more than fifty techno-demo and training farm projects completed all over the Philippines in the past five years.

To train prospective trainors among the agricultural technicians and farmer leaders on this technology and to make them capable of providing this technology to their area of influence.


Speaker –Demy , Patrick and Vani {Day 1(Monday)}

Introduction to the HARBEST AGRITECH Training Program

Schedule of training, policies, rules and regulation, objective of the program

Planning, site selection, crop selection

Proper site development – land preparation

Soil analysis – soil types, soil conditioning, soil testing

Crops and varieties – the F1-hybrid advantage

Determining seed quality, proper handling and use of seeds

Seedling technique, use of seedling nursery, seedling tray, pre-germination,

GROWELL seedling medium, nursery management

Field practice – use of pH and moisture meter, NPK test kit, seed sowing

Speaker – Patrick, Vani, Raffy and Demy {Day 2 (Tuesday)}

Lay-outing, bed formation, basal fertilization

Bed-making – use of plastic mulch, planting distance, hole-making

Transplanting and direct-seeding practices

Cultural management of new transplants, vegetative stage

Field practice – lay-outing, basal application, bed making, plastic mulching , hole-making, Transplanting

Speaker— Mark, Demy and Patrick {Day 3 (Wednesday)}

Pruning – theory and practice of different crops

Plant nutrition, fertilizer application practices – drenching, side dressing, top dressing, foliar

Clean vegetable farming practices – organic sources of nutrients

Cultural management for vine crops – vine training, vine trimming, pollination

Trellising – types of trellis materials, use of culture nets, construction of trellis

Field practice – fertilizer applications, vine training,

vine trimming, pollination, trellising, pruning of selected crops

Speaker – Demy and Patrick {Day 4 (Thursday)}

Irrigation and irrigation systems

Designing and constructing irrigation system

Water Management – irrigation theory and practice, importance of water in plant nutrition

Water sources, tapping water sources, economical use of water, Perforain

Irrigation system. Drip irrigation system, proper drainage and flood control

Farmers Field Visit

Speaker — Patrick, Raffy and Demy {Day 5 (Friday)}

Plasticulture – use of tunnel-type greenhouse system and Maligaya greenhouse

Pests and diseases, organic and chemical-based pesticides, fungicides and soil Conditioners

Weeds and their control, use of plastic mulching film

Crop monitoring

Field practice – identification of pests and diseases, set up of perforain system, irrigation practices,

Field Practice – Patrick, Raffy, Conrad, Vani and Jr

Speaker – Demy, Patrick and Vani {Day 6 (Saturday)}

Harvesting and post-harvest handling.

Market promotion and development, pricing. Marketing outlets.

Cost and Return Analysis

Graduation ceremony

Field trip may be organized when time permits. Above schedule is subject to change when necessary.

Board and lodging shall be provided at the training center. FARM CONDITION. Accommodation will be four persons sharing one room. Two persons per bed in a prefab nipa hut. Pillows, mat, blanket and mosquito net shall be provided. Two electric fans per room.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner with two snacks shall be provided. Food will be normal farm cooking. A caterer will prepare the meals during the duration of the training program.


Daily briefing, hands-on training on field, hand-outs

Includes board and lodging and food per participant P 7,900.00/ person

Note: A NON-REFUNDABLE RESERVATION FEE OF P 1,000 PER PERSON WILL BE COLLECTED PER PARTICIPANT. If you want to have single bed per person, you may add P1,200.00 (P200 per day). Please contact Mr. Toto Barcelona, Cell No.: 0917-5203260. Tel 671-7411 to 14. Harbest main office.

Fees can be deposited to the following account:

Savings Account No. 3-06250338-7
METROBANK Shaw Boulevard Branch, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Please text your name and amount when deposit is made to Cell No. 0917-8173034, Janet, and indicate ATTP .

All transportation expenses to and from HATDPC shall be borne by the participants.

Before the first training day Sunday 5:00pm. Dinner will be served. Please advise Mrs. Janet Serdan Cell No. 0917-8173034 if you are checking in on evening not later than Sunday 3pm.

Training fee should be paid before the start of the program. The balance may be paid in full on the day of registration; 8:00am. All participants are expected to attend all sessions. No refund will be made after the start of the sessions.


3F ITX BUILDING, No. 5 Rosemarie Lane, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City, Metro Manila
Tel. No. (02)6717411 to 14 Fax No. (02)6712232 hotline : 0917-5203260
Please look for Mr. Albert Serquiña
Carmen, Rosales, Pangasinan (near the boundary of Tarlac and Pangasinan, along the highway)
Ms. Venus Monta – Cell No. 0917-8173034 Mr. Demetrio Esmatao – Cell No. 0917-345837


Malunggay is a miracle vegetable

Malunggay, known scientifically as Moringa oleifera Lamk, is one of the world’s most useful plants. It is used as food, effective flocculant or water treatment, antibiotic, source of oil, and coagulant for turbid waters.

It is also called mother’s best friend, and miracle vegetable by many who know malunggay’s beneficial uses. It is cultivated in all countries of the tropics. It is easy to plant and is available year-round.

Malunggay’s image was even used as the official logo of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology.

One hundred grams or 1 cup of cooked malunggay leaves contain 3.1 g. protein, 0.6 g. fiber, 96 mg calcium, 29 mg phosphorus, 1.7 mg iron, 2,820 mg ß-carotene, 0.07 mg thiamin, 0.14 mg riboflavin, 1.1 mg niacin, and 53 mg ascorbic acid or vitamin C. The antioxidant activity of malunggay is about 71%, with µ-tocopherol (vitamin E) equivalent of 45.

Malunggay leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A and B, and minerals such as calcium and iron. It is even an excellent source of protein, being higher than the amino acid pattern of Food and Agriculture Organization-reference protein, yet contains very low fat and carbohydrates. The leaves are incomparable as a source of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine, often the natural minerals humans lack.

Due to its high vitamins A, C, and E, which are very potent antioxidants, malunggay is a very good quencher of unstable free radicals that can react with and damage molecules that cause aging. Antioxidants reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. They also prevent the onset of various chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, and heart and kidney diseases.

Malunggay contains the phytochemical niaziminin, which is found to have molecular components that can prevent the development of cancer cells (Faizi et al., 1992) and correlated with inhibitory ability against superoxide generation. The first naturally-occuring thiocarbamates, novel hypotensive agents niazinin A, niazinin B, niazimicin and niaziminin A and B were isolated from malunggay.

Malunggay is called ?miracle vegetable? because it is not just a food, it is also a medicine. It may therefore be a ?functional food?. Malunggay promotes good eyesight, digestion, facilitates bowel movement, and is a cure for stomach ache.

It is also used to cleanse wounds and ulcers. It helps alleviate scurvy, asthma, earache, and headaches. For its high calcium content, lactating mothers are advised to eat malunggay leaves to produce more milk.

Malunggay is usually cooked with chicken as tinola, or with fish and other vegetables, mongo soup dishes, and blanched as salads.

How to grow Malunggay or Moringa – >

Written by: By Dr. Lydia M. Marero of Food and Nutrition Research Institute

[For more information on food and nutrition, you may write or call The Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology, Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, Tel/Fax: 8372934, 8373164; E-mail:; FNRI-DOST website: http//]

Lamang-ugat at butong gulay para sa mahabang buhay

MAHIRAP MAGKASAKIT. Pero may mga paraan naman upang maiwasan ang magkasakit. Maaari itong mag umpisa sa pagbabasa para sa karagdagan o tamang kaalaman.

Marami sa mga pagkain ang may dietary fiber. Bukod sa madaling matagpuan sa ating paligid, ang mga pagkaing ito ay mabibili s a mababang halaga katulad ng mga lamang-ugat gaya ng ube, gabi, tugi, patatas, kamote at kamoteng kahoy. Kasama rin sa mga pagkaing ito ang mga butong gulay tulad ng munggo, mani, buto ng sitaw, patani, gisantes, soya beans at marami pang iba.

Ang mga lamang-ugat at butong gulay ay mainam na pagkunan ng dietary fiber. Ito ay nakatutulong upang maiwasan ang diabetes mellitus, sakit sa puso at kanser.

Ayon sa pag-aaral na isinagawa ng Food and Nutrition Research Institute ng Kagawaran ng Agham at Teknolohiya (FNRI-DOST), ang mga butong gulay at lamang-ugat ay nakatutulong upang mapanatili ang timbang at maiwasan ang diabetes mellitus.

Ang viscosity at fibrous structure ng mga lamang-ugat at butong gulay ay nagpapabagal ng pagtunaw at release ng glucose sa ating dugo. Ang prosesong ito ang nagpapanatili ng ating blood glucose sa normal na kalagayan. Dahil din sa mabagal na release ng glucose, ito ay hindi naiimbak sa ating katawan, kung kaya napananatili nito ang normal na timbang ng isang tao.

Dahil rin sa dami ng dietary fiber ng lamang-ugat at butong gulay, ito ay madaling makapagpabusog, dahilan upang mas kaunti na lamang ang kainin.

Ang FNRI-DOST ay nagsagawa rin ng pag-aaral tungkol sa glucose response o glycemic index (GI) ng mga lamang-ugat at butong gulay para sa normal at diabetikong mga tao. Ayon sa resulta ng pag-aaral, ang lamang–ugat at butong gulay ay may mababang GI. Ang mga pagkaing may mababang GI ay mahalaga sa tamang pagcontrol at management ng diabetes mellitus at napapanatili nito ang normal na timbang ng tao.

Sa paanong paraan maiiwasan ang sakit sa puso sa pamamagitan ng lamang-ugat at butong gulay? Dahil sa taglay nitong dietary fiber, nakakatulong ito upang maiwasan ang re-absorption ng bile acids sa atay. Ang bile acids ay nagiging cholesterol sa atay at napupunta sa dugo kung kaya dumadami ang serum cholesterol na maaaring maging plaques na bumabara sa mga ugat sa katawan.

Ano naman ang posibleng papel na ginagampanan ng mga lamang-ugat at butong gulay upang maiwasan ang kanser? Ang taglay na dietary fiber ng mga lamang-ugat at butong gulay ay nagiging short chain fatty acid (SCFA) sa malaking bituka o colon. Ang SCFA ay humahalo sa mga toxins na nasa colon at ito ay sumasama sa dumi. Kapag hindi naalis sa katawan ang toxins ay namumuo bilang tumor at nagiging kanser.

Kaya dapat kumain ng mga lamang-ugat at butong gulay araw-araw upang humaba ang buhay. Para sa malusog at masayang pamumuhay, mas mainam na sundin ang mang-limang mensahe ng Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos, na nagsasabing “Kumain ng maraming gulay, prutas at lamang –ugat.”

Written by: Josefina T. Gonzales


Philippines: Malunggay Congress to promote vegetables as source of food and energy

The first Malunggay Congress to be held next week as the country celebrates the 4th National Biotechnology Week will discuss the vallue of the vegetable as food and as a renewable energy source. Malunggay, dubbed by Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO) director Alicia Ilaga as the “power gulay,” is also known as a key element in the campaign to reduce malnutrition nationwide, particularly now that up to 40 percent of our people have experienced hunger in the past six months.

As the central focus of the Congress, to be held at the Institute of Small Scale Industries (ISSI) at UP Diliman tomorow, malunggay is seen as appropriate food for more than 20 million Filipinos who consider themselves poor and hungry. Ilaga said malunggay is needed by lactating mothers since it has a high calcium content, which is necessary to produce milk.

She added that malunggay has seven times the Vitamin C in orange, four times the calcium in milk, four times the Vitamin A in carrots, three times the potassium in banana, and three fourth the iron in pechay. Malunggay is a host to many nutrients that are beneficial to the body, Ilaga stressed.

Studies show that every 100 grams of pod contain 2.5 grams protein, 0.1 grams fat, 8.5 grams carbohydrate, 4.8 grams fiber, and minerals such as Calcium (30 milligrams), Phosphorus (110 milligrams), and Iron (5.3 milligrams).

Leaves (per 100 grams) contain 7.5 grams water, 6.7 grams protein, 1.7 g fat, 14.3 g total carbohydrate, 0.9 grams fiber, 2.3 grams ash, and minerals, Calcium (440 mg), Phosphorus (70 mg), Iron (7 mg), Copper (110 ?g) and Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. The leaves also contain different amino acids and estrogenic substances, including the anti-tumor compound, sitosterol, and a pectinesterase.

Water, protein and fiber can be found in the seed kernel (70.74% of seed). The seed oil contains 9.3% palmitic, 7.4% stearic, 8.6% behenic, and 65.7% oleic acids among the fatty acids. Malunggay contains the phytochemical niaziminin, which is found to have molecular components that can prevent the development of cancer cells, a study undertaken in 1992 discovered, and it is correlated with inhibitory ability against superoxide generation.

The first naturally-occuring thiocarbamates, novel hypotensive agents such as niazinin A, niazinin B, niazimicin and niaziminin A and B were isolated from malunggay, Ilaga stressed. Malunggay is being used as a too to combat malnutrition among infants and mothers alike. Three international non-government organizations—Trees for Life, Church World Service and Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization—have preached malunggay as the “natural food for the tropics.”

Leaves can be eaten fresh, cooked, or stored as dried powder for many months without refrigeration, and reportedly without loss of nutritional value. Moringa is especially promising as a food source in the tropics because the tree is in full leaf at the end of the dry season when other foods are typically scarce, Ilaga said.


Healing powers of spices

A SPICE is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for the purpose of flavoring, and sometimes as a preservative by killing or preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.

In the Philippines, the two most popular spices are garlic and onion. The other two known spices are tomato and ginger. But these four are not only good for flavoring your bland foods; they have also healing powers.

Garlic, for instance, has been hailed as “nature’s herbal wonder drug.” In the past, it was said to strengthen the heart; protect against the plague; cure colds, athlete’s foot, toothache, and snakebite; repel vampires and demons; grow hair; stimulate sexual performance; and rid the dog of fleas.

Today, scientists all over the world are examining the folklore’s claims of garlic’s benefits. But the therapeutic qualities of garlic are nothing new. Sanskrit records reveal that garlic remedies were pressed into service in India 5,000 years ago, while Chinese medicine has recognized garlic’s powers for over 3,000 years.

Even Louis Pasteur, who discovered penicillin, recognized the anti-bacterial powers of garlic back in 1858.ÿ During World War I, surgeons regularly used garlic juice to stop wounds turning septic.

So, what is it about garlic that makes it such a boon to our health? When cloves are chewed, crushed or cut, they release a sulphur-bearing compound called allicin — the chemical that gives garlic its pungent aroma. And it’s the allicin that scientists have discovered is the magic ingredient thought to be responsible for garlic’s therapeutic qualities.

“Allicin is the remarkable agent that fights bacteria,” points out the editors of ‘Super Life, Super Health.’ “It seems to even fight some infections that are normally resistant to antibiotics.’ But allicin is unstable and sensitive to heat,” the editors remind. “Cook the garlic lightly, if at all, and always mince it to release the most allicin.”

In 2007, a news story from the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that garlic may prevent and fight the common cold. “Garlic can actually kill germs and clear up your cold symptoms rapidly,” says Dr. Elson Haas, the author of ‘Staying Healthy with the Seasons.’ He recommends two to three oil-free capsules three times a day.

If you have sore throat, load up yourself with garlic. “When a sore throat is caused by a virus infection, as opposed to bacteria, eating garlic can bring quicker relief,” suggests Dr Yu-Yan Hey, a nutrition professor who researches on the healing properties of garlic.

Onions are found in a bewildering array of recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world’s cultures. When eaten raw, onions may irritate the stomach. When that happens, milk is reportedly effective in neutralizing the effects.

Ancient Greek athletes consumed large quantities of onions because they felt it would “lighten the balance of the blood.” When Rome conquered Greece, the Roman gladiators were rubbed down with the onion to “firm up the muscles.”

In many parts of the world, onions are used to heal blisters and boils. In the United States, products that contain onion extract are used in the treatment of topical scars; some studies have found their action to be ineffective, while others found that they may act as an anti-inflammatory.

Onions may be especially beneficial for women, who are at increased risk for osteoporosis as they go through menopause, by destroying osteoclasts so that they do not break down bone.

In Georgia, where the Vidalia onion is grown, the rate of stomach cancer is 50 percent less than other parts of the nation. Extract of onion inhibits blood clotting. Onion reduces high cholesterol levels, and is said to stimulate the immune system. In people with diabetes, onion use lowers the fasting glucose level. Onion improves glucose tolerance and lowers insulin levels.

One bad thing about onions is that they can irritate your eyes. However, eye irritation can be avoided by cutting onions under running water or submerged in a basin of water. Rinsing the onion and leaving it wet while chopping may also be effective. Another way to avoid irritation is by not cutting off the root of the onion, or by doing it last, as the root of the onion has a higher concentration of enzymes.

Tomatoes are now eaten freely throughout the world, and their consumption is believed to benefit the heart among other things. They contain lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants, which, especially when tomatoes are cooked, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer.

Tomato extract branded as Lycomato is now also being promoted for treatment of high blood pressure. Lycopene has also been show to improve the skin’s ability to protect against harmful ultraviolet rays.

Dr. C. C. Thakur in his book Introduction to Ayurveda has said that it improves the digestive system and cures chronic diseases of the stomach. It is a blood purifier, cures anemia, piles, liver troubles and chronic fever.

“Everything good is found in ginger,” so goes a popular Indian proverb. Ginger has been used medicinally in Asia for millennia. In China, for instance, a drink made with sliced ginger cooked in sweetened water or a cola is used as a folk medicine for common cold. In India, ginger is applied as a paste to the temples to relieve headache.

The ancient Greeks welcomed the arrival of ginger and quickly put it to good use as a digestive aid. To lighten the load of a big meal placed on the digestive system, the Greeks would end an evening of fabulous fasting by eating some ginger wrapped in bread. Eventually, this practice evolved into the world’s first cookie gingerbread.

A study showed that taking two to four capsules of dried ginger before traveling in a car, boat, plane, or trains prevented motion sickness in 90 percent of the people who participated in the study.

“To combat travel sickness, take a quarter of a teaspoon of powdered ginger or a one centimeter slice of fresh root ginger at least 20 minutes before you get in the car or board a ferry,” suggests an article which appeared in Reader’s Digest.

The Minnesota-based Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research recommends ginger for nausea and vomiting. It instructs, “To prevent nausea after surgery, ginger has been given as one gram by mouth one hour before surgery. For chemotherapy-induced nausea, capsules of ginger root powder have been given orally one gram per day for 5 days, starting on the first day of chemotherapy.”

Written by: Henrylito D. Tacio


Ube shows promise as cure for hypertension


Yam (ube) contains a substance that shows some potentials as a cure for hypertension.

The substance has been named PhilRootcrops Protein-1 (PRP-1) by the Visayas State University (VSU), whose research has discovered the root crop’s medicinal properties.

It can safely be used as a hypertensive drug, Dr. Edgardo Tulin of the VSU-PhilRootcrops said.

Dr. Tulin said PRP-1 is a naturally-derived angiotension-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor from yam. ACE inhibitors are proteins that are commercially important for the treatment of hypertension.

He said the yield of PRP-1 from crude protein extracts of yam roots was 364 milligrams per 100 grams of tubers.

PRP-1 can also be purified from cooked yam tubers and was still able to include proliferation of bone marrow cells and spleen cells, he added. Spleen is an organ near the stomach or intestine of most vertebrates.

Dr. Tulin observed that PRP-1 was not allergenic to mice, suggesting that it can be administered safely without worry of having an allergic response.

“No observable morphological changes in the internal organs of the test animals were observed for both acute and chronic toxicity studies. Hence, PRP-1 can be used safely as a potential hypertensive drug,” he said.

Dr. Tulin said that the promising activity of PRP-1 is an opportunity to create natural drugs from widely cultivated crops in the country.

He concluded: “It is a natural protein that could safely be produced and could be readily available, particularly in the developing countries. PRP-1 has great potential for treatment against hypertension and, additionally, this protein has an essential role in metabolic regulation, particularly in glucose metabolism.”

Written by: Rudy Fernandez



Basella alba Linn.

Basella lucida Linn.

Basella cordifolia Lam.

Local names: Alugbati (Bis.); arogbati (Bik.); dundula (Sul.); grana (Tag.); ilaibakir (Ilk.); libato (Tag.); Malabar nightshade (Eng.); Lo k?uei (Chinese.).

Alugbati is found in settled areas, in hedges, old cultivated areas, etc., throughout the Philippines. It is certainly not a native of the Archipelago but is of prehistoric introduction. It occurs also in tropical Asia, Africa and Malaya, often cultivated.

This is a succulent, branched, smooth, twining, herbaceous vine, reaching a length of several meters. The stems are green or purplish. The leaves are somewhat fleshy, ovate or heart-shaped, 5 to 12 centimeters in length, stalked, tapering to a pointed tip, and cordate at the base. The spikes are axillary, solitary, and 5 to 29 centimeters in length. The flowers are pink, and about 4 millimeters long. The fruit is fleshy, stalkless, ovoid or nearly spherical, 5 to 6 millimeters in length, and purple when mature.

Alugbati is a very common and popular leafy vegetable, which is much used in stews and, which makes good substitute for spinach. The cultivated varieties, both the green and the purple, are superior to the wild ones. It is cultivated extensively by Chinese gardeners and is on sale in Manila markets throughout the year. The young shoots, including both the leaves and the stems are eaten.

The plant is mucilaginous when cooked. Mara????reports that it is an excellent source of calcium and iron and that it has the high roughage value characteristic of leafy vegetables. According to Hermano and Hermano and Sepulveda, it is a good source of vitamin A and an excellent one of vitamins B and C.

Read reports that the leaves contain saponin, vitamins A3 and B3; and the fruit, mucilage and iron.

According to Guerrero the roots are employed as a rubefacient, and as a poultice to reduce local swellings; the sap is used to anoint any part of the body affected by acne in order to diminish the irritation. According to Nadkarni, and Kirtikar and Basu, its action is demulcent and diuretic. Stuart adds that it is emollient.

In India Nadkarni reports that it makes a wholesome and a most easily digested spinach and acts as a mild laxative. The leaves are reduced to a pulp and applied to boils, ulcers and abscesses to hasten suppuration. The juice of the leaves, together with sugar candy, is useful in catarrhal affections of children. It is administered with much benefit in gonorrhea and balanitis. The leaf-juice, thoroughly rubbed and mixed with butter, is a soothing and cooling application for burns and scalds. The mucilaginous liquid obtained from the leaves and tender stalks of this plant is a popular remedy for habitual headaches. Stuart states that the fruit is used as rouge for the cheeks and lips of ladies, and also as a dye. De Grosourdy says that in the Antilles the leaves are considered good maturatives as cataplasm. A decoction of the leaves is a good laxative for pregnant women and children.


Photo courtesy of

Sweet Sorghum: A Smart Biofuel Crop

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In these days of soaring food prices worldwide, imagine a crop that provides food, livestock feed and biofuel. It grows in dry conditions, tolerates heat, salt and waterlogging and provides steady income for poor farmers. Sweet sorghum, a plant that grows to a height of 8 to 12 feet and looks like corn but with the grain on top rather than on the side of the plant, has all these qualities.

“Sweet sorghum provides an opportunity for developing countries to re-direct oil money that used to go overseas back into their own rural economies,” says Dr. William Dar, director general of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), one of 15 allied centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

“We consider sweet sorghum an ideal ‘smart crop’ because it produces food as well as fuel,” Dr. Dar adds. “With proper management, smallholder farmers can improve their incomes by 20 percent compared to alternative crops in dry areas in India.”

In partnership with Rusni Distilleries and 791 farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India, ICRISAT helped to build and operate the world’s first commercial bioethanol plant, which began operations in June 2007. Locally produced sweet sorghum is used as feedstock.

The process is simple. To produce ethanol, the sorghum stalks are crushed, yielding sweet juice that is fermented and distilled to obtain bioethanol, a clean burning fuel with a high octane rating.

The grain can be used for food, chicken or cattle feed. Yet if it has been damaged by disease, no problem – it can also be used to make bioethanol, protecting farm incomes that would otherwise be lost.

The crushed stalks, called bagasse, can be burned to provide energy for the distillery. However, research by ICRISAT’s sister center, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), has found that the bagasse value can be doubled if it is compacted in nutritious blocks and fed to cattle.

Similar public-private-farmer partnership projects with ICRISAT, local industries and farmers are also underway in the Philippines, Mexico, Mozambique and Kenya, as countries search for alternative fuels.

India intends to use a 10-percent ethanol blend to save an estimated 80 million liters (21 million gallons) of gasoline each year to ease the country’s growing need for gasoline and to reduce carbon emissions.


Sweet sorghum in India costs $1.74 to produce a gallon of ethanol, compared with $2.19 for sugarcane and $2.12 for corn.

It has high positive energy balance, producing about eight units of energy for every unit of energy invested in its cultivation and production, roughly equivalent to sugarcane but four times more than for corn. Only 0.8 unit of energy is produced in fossil fuel production for every unit invested.

In the United States, the diversion of corn to bioethanol uses has contributed to increasing food prices. Since food-quality grain of sweet sorghum is not used in ethanol production, and is not in high demand in the global food market, it has little impact on food prices and food security.

Sweet sorghum hybrids have almost equal yields of grain as from grain sorghum hybrids and significantly higher stalk yields, so “food production would not be forfeited by switching from regular sorghum to sweet sorghum,” says ICRISAT sorghum breeder Dr. Belum Reddy. Improved sweet sorghum technology could even raise sorghum grain production significantly.

It is also easier and cheaper to grow sweet sorghum than other biofuel crops in India. Sweet sorghum grows on “free” rainwater, whereas sugarcane requires costly irrigation. Sweet sorghum is also more water-efficient: sugarcane consumes two and a half units of water to produce one unit of ethanol, whereas sweet sorghum produces one unit of ethanol from one unit of water.

Some recent reports have raised concerns that the cultivation of certain biofuel crops produces more greenhouse gases than is being saved. This is less likely to be the case for sweet sorghum, although research is needed to assess this carefully. Sweet sorghum is grown on already-farmed drylands that are low in carbon storage capacity, so the issue of clearing rainforest, of great concern for oil palm and sugarcane, does not apply.

Sweet sorghum will not replace sugarcane in parts of the developing world where those crops are well established, emphasizes Dr. Reddy. However, the need for irrigation and high rainfall makes it difficult to expand sugarcane production without moving into ecologically sensitive areas like rainforests.

Sunday, May 11 2008 (


Katuray: Sesbania grandiflora

A tree, 5 to 12 meters high. Leaves are pinnate, 20-30 cm long with 20 to 40 pairs of leaflets which are 2.5 to 3.5 cm long. Flowers are white, 7-9 cm long. Pods are linear, 20-60 cm long, 7 to 8 mm wide, pendulous and curved, containing many seeds.

In settled areas, at low and medium altitudes.

Constituents and characteristics
Bark contains tannin and gum.
Bark is very astringent.
Flowers are emollient and laxative.
Leaves are aperient, diuretic, laxative.

Parts used and preparation
Root, flowers, bark, leaves.

Often planted for its edible flowers and pods.
The large white or pink flowers are edible, eaten raw or steamed; makes for an excellent salad.
Young pods are eaten like string beans.
Excellent source of calcium, fair source of iron, good source of vitamin B.
Juice of the root, mixed with honey, used as an expectorant.
Decoction of the bark used for hemoptysis.
Infusion of the bark given for smallpox and other eruptive fevers.
Juice of leaves and flowers used for nasal catarrh and headaches.
Produces a clear gum making a good substitute for gum arabic.

Cultivated and wildcrafted.


Promising hybrid tomato

This fruitful tomato is TM 787, a promising hybrid developed by plant breeders of East-West Seed Company. It is taller than other commercially grown hybrids which offers certain advantages, among them a longer productive life. That’s important for farmers, especially when the price of tomatoes is high. This tomato also has higher tolerance to Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl (TYLC) disease than varieties that are now grown by farmers. This hybrid produces firm fruits that weigh 40 to 60 grams each. Showing TM 787 with ripening fruits are Jill Bulawan (left) and Karina van Leeuven, a Dutch senior plant breeder of East-West Seed. They say that farmers in Nueva Vizcaya who have tried planting the new hybrid are excited about it because of its excellent performance.

Written by Zac Sarian


East-West Seed Company:

Small farms, big income

Small farms, big income

What’s good about the new hybrid varieties of vegetables and other crops is that even smallholder farmers can produce big income from their small farms.

Just like Danilo Catalan of Matanao, Davao del Sur. A 26-year-old agriculture graduate who decided to till their small farm, he is making good income from tomatoes and ampalaya. Last season, he planted the hybrid Diamante tomato on less than 1,000 square meters of land. He and his father Orsisino are so happy, they were able to gross more than P70,000 in three months of culture. And they were able to a buy a brand new motorcycle worth more than P60,000. It’s the talk of the town, and the good thing about it is that other small scale farmers are also getting interested in planting hybrid seeds because even on small farms they can produce a big harvest.

Vegetable field in Benguet province, Philippines

This time,Danilo planted Galaxy ampalaya on the same plot. He is enjoying a good harvest today, picking fruits every four days which sell at P18 to P20 per kilo. Last July 2, he harvested 175 kilos which fetched P20 per kilo. He started harvesting only last June 10 and has already earned more than what he had spent to put up the crop. He expects to harvest much more.

Another small-scale farmer is Wendel Comaingking of Bansalan, Davao del Sur. He, too, loves to plant hybrid vegetables because they yield high and also fetch a good price.

Wendel’s choice is the Big C cucumber, a hybrid from East-West Seed Company. He has his own good reason for choosing cucumber. The cost of production, he says, is not as much as other vegetables. A can of 2,200 seeds costs only R650 and he just plants 870 plants in the plot that he plants at a time. He staggers his planting at different places so he has harvests most times of the year.

Another advantage of cucumber is that it bears fruit starting at 35 days from planting, and harvesting is every other day. Although the price is only P8 per kilo at farmgate, it is still profitable to grow.

Other small-scale farmers grow other hybrid seeds. These include Suprema squash, Django finger pepper, Improved Majesty sweet pepper, Bonito and Galaxy ampalaya, Morena and Banate King eggplant, sitao and many others.

Written by By Zac B. Sarian




The utilization of BIO-N in corn production increases yield while reducing the cost. This was proven thru an on-farm-research initiated by the Department of Agriculture (DA) XI conducted in Bansalan, Davao del Sur and Laak, Compostela Valley.


The Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Office XI has introduced the utilization of BIO-N to increase corn production while reducing cost. The effectivity of using BIO-N was proven by an on-farm-research recently conducted in Bansalan, Davao del Sur and Laak, Compostela Valley. By using BIO-N, more than half of fertilizer (particularly nitrogen) application has been cut down.

BIO-N is a solid inoculant in powder form that contains two important strains of bacteria capable of converting atmospheric nitrogen (N2) into a form usable by rice and corn plants. BIO-N contains bacteria that can enhance root development, growth and yield of rice, corn and other crops. This was developed by the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

BIO-N is used by simply mixing or coating seeds or as suspension for use in watering seedbeds or as a root dip. BIO-N comes in a handy 200 gram packet. Five to six packets are recommended to inoculate rice and corn seeds or rice seedling enough to plant a hectare of land. Significant effects on rice and corn inoculation can be obtained in the presence of ¾ to ½ of the recommended amounts of inorganic N.

BIO-N also enhances yield of rice and corn where organic fertilizers have been applied basally. BIO-N has also been shown to work with other crops such as onion, squash, pechay, melon, tomato, eggplant and okra.

The tables below show the yield of corn fertilized with chemical or BIO-N and the cost and return analysis of using BIO-N.

Yield of Corn Fertilized with Chemical or BIO-N
Yield (ton/ha)
% Increase over control treatment
Full RRC (90-60-60
50% RRC (45-30-30)
BIO-N + 50% RRC
BIO-N + Full RRC
RRC=Recommended rate of chemical fertilizer (8 bags complete fertilizer/ha + 1.5 bags Urea/ha)
Cost and Return Analysis
Balagonon, Managa, Bansalan, Davao del Sur

Land Preparation
P 750.00
Furrowing (3 Man, Animal Days)
Planting & fertilizer application basal
Off-barring (3 Man, Animal Days)
Side dressing (3 Man Days)
Hilling-up (3 Man, Animal Days)
Trichogramma application
Harvesting and shelling
Drying and sacking
P 8,754.00
P 8,817.00

Corn seeds
14-14-14 (complete)
16-20-0 (ammophus)

45-0-0 (urea)
Organic fertilizer

Bio-N (6 packs)

Cost and Return Analysis
Ceboleda, Laak, Compostela Valley

Land Preparation
P 750.00
Furrowing (3 Man, Animal Days)
Planting & fertilizer application basal
Off-barring (3 Man, Animal Days)
Side dressing (3 Man Days)
Hilling-up (3 Man, Animal Days)

Spraying Atrazine
Trichogramma application
Harvesting and shelling
Drying and sacking
P 6,558.77
P 8,377.99

Corn seeds
14-14-14 (complete)
16-20-0 (ammophus)
45-0-0 (urea)
Organic fertilizer
Bio-N (6 packs)


Sub Total
Grand Total
P 10,913.52
P 14,107.99
Yield (t/ha)
P 21,340.00
P 22,960.00
P 10,426.48
P 8,852.01
ROI (%)

* Low yield was due to water stress during the tasseling and silking stage.

Submitted by: Mr. Nicasio Angelo J Agustin


For more information: Visit 2/F G.B. Cam Bldg. Cor. Alvarez and Monteverde Sts., Davao City, Phone Number:(082)2277495

Sweet Potato Contains Anti-aging Nutrients

Sweet Potato Contains Anti-aging Nutrients

Sweet potato is a health vegetable rich in antioxidants and other nutrients useful in maintaining a healthy body.

A new study conducted by the Rural Development Administration (RDA) of South Korea shows that sweet potato contains antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, isochlorogenic.

Antioxidants, known as the modern-day anti-aging nutrients, are phytochemicals or substances (mostly present in fruits and vegetables), which neutralize or counterbalance the free radicals that are generated by the body during normal metabolism.

Free radicals are the most vicious and toxic by-products of metabolism. When not neutralized, they can travel through the body cells, disrupting the structures of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and cause cell damages.

These damages are believed to contribute to aging and degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cataract, and the like.

Sweet potato antioxidants are higher in the leaves than in the tops, but higher in the tops than in the roots and petioles.

Also, all parts of sweet potato, especially the leaves and tops, contain protein, lipids, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin A and C.

These nutrients are favorably comparable with those of other vegetable nutrients when they are boiled or used in their dry form than when they are consumed raw.

PFN No. 6482 July-September 2004

Source: FFTC leaflet for agriculture. No. 2001-34. Food and Fertilizer Technology Center (FFTC), 14 Wen Chow St., Taipei, Taiwan, ROC. Cooperating agency for this topic: Rural Development Administration (RDA), Suwon, South Korea.


Photo Souce:

Eggplant Industry Situationer in the Philippines

Uses :

Although eggplant ( Solanum melongena L.) is of minor importance in the Western and European countries, it is one of the most popular vegetable crops in the Philippines . It is used:

1. as basic ingredient in “ pinakbet ”, a popular vegetable stew in the northern part of the country
2. in preparation of eggplant omelets

Immature fruits are either roasted, fried, stuffed, boiled, pickled or processes while the young fruits are eaten raw.


Native varieties: Negros Purple , Pampanga Purple and Simeda . Two new eggplant varieties are also available, Dingras Long Purple and Dingras Multiple Purple .

Foreign varieties: Black Beauty and Golden Gate

Hybrid varieties:

F1 Kalenda – Early Hybrid F1

F Harvest begins 60 to 80 days from transplant during 3 to 5 weeks

F Strong and vigorous

F Fruits are long tapered, bright black purple color, 250 to 350 grams weight

F Plantation rate: 7,000 to 13,000 plants/ha. 1.6 to 2 m between rows and 0.60 to 0.90 meters between plants

F Disease tolerance: Bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas Solanacearum ), Anthracnose, Colletotricum ,

F Very good yield: 40 to 60 tons/ha

F1 Adama – Early hybrid

F Maturity from transplanting: 70 days after

F Plant is medium tall – 60 to 70 cm

F Fruit shape long black purple, fruit is 150 to 300 grams

F Disease tolerance: TMV, Verticillium , CMV, Odium

Other varieties: Florida Market , F1 Bonita , African Eggplants

Agro-ecological Environment:

1. Soil – Deep sandy loam and clay loam. Satisfactory moisture supply, high fertility, and good drainage are needed.
2. Temperature – 21°C to 29°C
3. General climate – long, warm growing season approximately 120 days

Grades and Standards

Eggplants sold in the market are fresh, long and purple with rounded tips classified according to length such as:

a. Primera – 11 to 12 inches

b. Segunda – 8 to 10 inches

c. Tercera – 5 to 7 inches

A kilo of primera eggplant may have 6 pieces; segunda – 8 pieces; tercera – 12 piece .

Wholesale buying is by “ ginatos ” (hundreds). Eggplants are bundled in sacks, “ kaings or bulto ”. A small “ bulto ” may contain 1,000 pcs of eggplant, a medium “ bulto ” 1,800 pcs and a large “ bulto ” 3,000 pcs . The minimum volume is 100 pieces in wholesale transactions.

Retailers also classify eggplant according to length, as follows:

a. Large – 11 to 12 inches

b. Medium – 8 to 10 inches

c. Small – below 8 inch
Eggplants for retail should be fresh, long and purple. Retail selling is usually per piece but ambulant vendors normally sell by pile or “ tumpok ”. The minimum transaction volume is 1 piece.

Market Price Trends

The supply and demand factors largely underline the price formation process, along with eggplant size. Price differences of P0.30 – P0.50 per piece exist between medium and large eggplants. A slightly higher price difference of P0.35 – P0.55 per piece occurs between small and medium and between small and large eggplants.

When eggplant supply is high and demand is weak prices dip by P1.00 per piece. Conversely, prices increase by P1.00 per piece when low supply exists alongside market demand. This situation is prevalent during lean production months.


Where to buy eggplant seeds:,




MUNOZ, NUEVA ECIJA, November 23, 2002 (STAR) Ever heard of “kamlong”?

It’s “kamatis” (tomato) grafted on “talong” (eggplant) rootstock.

The result: A tomato for all seasons (wet and hot months of the year).

The unique “kamlong” has been the result of a scientific venture done jointly by researchers of the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija; Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) based in Taiwan; and Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany.

Involved in the research are Drs. L.G. Mateo, D.R. Cacho, A.F. Bala, T.M. Aganon, C.P. Aganon, G.C. Bruin, A.C. Roxas, A.G. Marzan, and F.O. Perez. Giving full support to the undertaking is CLSU president Dr. Rodolfo C. Undan.

The team has developed a package of technology (technoguide) for tomato off-seasons production. The package consists of technologies to produce grated tomato seedlings, field management, grafting, and use of rain shelters.

In grafting tomato, eggplant or tomato rootstock varieties can be used but tomato rootstocks like Hawaii 7996 are preferred if production areas are flooded and waterlogged.

Eggplant varieties (e.g. EG-203) for rootstock resistant to bacterial wit and other soil-borne diseases and tolerant to flooding may be used.

Grafting should be done in a chamber with 20 to 25 degrees Celsius temperature and 80-90 percent relative humidity to ensure high recovery of grafted plants.

The researchers advise the grafting of three week-old tomato scions onto four-week-old eggplant or tomato rootstocks.

They reported that it is highly profitable to plant grafted tomato under rain shelter during the wet season.

Initial investment to construct a rain shelter in 1,000 square meters was P8,887.27 (2001 figures). The net profit realized for 1,000 sq.m. was P57,532 from a yield of 2,250 kilos and total expenses of about P33,000.

The facilities at CLSU now allow farmers to buy ready-made grafted tomato.

Written by: Rudy A. Fernandez



Technology Description:

Social conditions

The adopters and potential adopters of the technology are farmers with small landholdings and who have limited capacity for big farm investment and yet has the initiative and interest to participate in the program and dedicate their labor resource.

Technical considerations

During the early part of the introduction of the grafted tomato technology in Luzon , 365 farmers participated and completed the season-long training on “Integrated Crop Management on Grafted Tomato”. Since grafted tomato is a precision technology prospective adopters must be properly trained to equip them with adequate decision-making background during the commercialization stage of the technology. Current adopters are farmers who have participated in Farmer Field Schools conducted and implemented jointly by the Research, Extension and Training of the Central Luzon State University and the different local Government Units (LGUs) of Bulacan, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. Furthermore, grafting and hardening chambers should be available for grafted tomato seedling production.

Economic data

Cost and return from 1000 m 2 grafted tomato under rainshelter, mulched and provided with trellis indicated a total labor cost of Php 12,214.25; material inputs of Php11,472.97 and rainshelter/mulching materials of Php 5,734.95 or a total expenses of Php 29,422.15. Gross production was 2,000 kg valued at P 30/kg or a gross income of Php 60,000. Net income, breakeven yield and breaeven price amounted to Php30,577.83, 980.74 kg, and Php 14.71 respectively with a return on total expenses of Php 1.04.

On the other hand, grafted seedling production which is a component enterprise can generate a net income of Php 19,023 and Php 219,207 using low cost and controlled condition grafting chambers, respectively. The return on investment is Php 0.34 and Php 2.71 from the low tech and controlled condition respectively (Please see attached Financial Feasibility).

Highlights of Technology Commercialization Activities:

• Technology Sourcing/Mapping

Research on grafted tomato production in the Philippines started in 1998 when The Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) based in Taiwan and The Philippines through the Central Luzon State University and Bureau of Plant Industry-Economic Garden collaborated in a project entitled “ The Manila Peri-urban Vegetable Production Systems Project”. The project objective is to make the supply of vegetables to big cities in a sustained and safe mode.

Grafted tomato technology is one of the major output of the project. The technology is characterized by sparing tomato production from bacterial wilt infestation and flooding damage through grafting tomato scion to the bacterial wilt and flood resistant eggplant rootstock. The most common varieties of tomatoes easily succumb to bacterial wilt causing organism particularly during rainy season when soil moisture and humidity becomes highly favorable for the growth of the microorganism.

The tomato economy in the Philippines is characterized by two peaks; One is peak of fruit production during rainy season resulting to market glut and the peak of prices during hot-wet months (rainy season) brought about by limited supply. Increasing off-season production will reduce the occurrence of sky-high prices thus, making tomato price affordable to everyone’s home but at the same time offering the growers better source of alternative enterprise.

The profitability of grafted tomato technology to enhance off-season production, in Central Luzon is no longer a question. However, the technology should be tried in other tomato growing areas and by more farmers in commercial scale of in order for the growers and consumers realize similar benefits from the technology and likewise define the limits of the adaptability of the technology.

Prior to selection of beneficiaries rapid rural appraisal will be conducted to determine the problems associated with the growing of tomato during hot-wet months. Only areas which have flooding and/or bacterial wilt problems shall be considered for testing of the grafted tomato technology.

There will be two towns to be selected per province preferably two nearby towns located in flat to undulating topography.

• Technology Packaging (including technology Assessment)

STEEP Test criteria will be used to assess the technology. Where :

S- social acceptability

T- technical feasibility

E- economic financial viability

E- environmental soundness

P- political acceptability

Rating scale (PCARRD) shall be from 1 to 5.

• Technology Promotion

Technology promotion activites shall be done in several but interdependent stages:

• Technical Assistance in the construction of grafting and hardening chambers and rainshelters. The chambers are needed in producing the grafted tomato seedlings. Each grafting chamber has an enclosed area which measures 30 m 2 , hardening chamber (50 m 2), and rainshelters 25 m 2 . The chambers shall be operated by the farmer cooperative while the rainshelters shall be operated individually by cooperative members. The chamber operator shall be intensively trained at CLSU by the CLSU- Peri-urban Vegetable Production Sytems Team.

• Farmer/LGU empowerment

Farmers will be trained in integrated grafted tomato production and will be closely provided with technical assistance by CLSU, DA and LGU throughout the project duration until such time that they can confidently manage their grafted tomato farms.

• Process Documentation and Socio-Economic Analysis

Two full time project personnel will be will be hired to 1) document the processes and procedures followed by the beneficiaries, 2) identify constraints in the adoption of grafted tomato technology along with production and marketing, and 3) analyze the effect of the project on farmers, cooperatives and consumers.


For all farms, grafted and non-grafted tomato under open field and rainshelter treatment will be used to adequately assess the advantages of grafting and rainshelter. Rainfall, relative humidity and temperature will be monitored daily in all the sites. EG 203 will be used as rootstock whereas, Diamante and Harabas will be used as scions. Plot size will be 25 m 2 for each treatment. Twenty samples per non-replicated treatment will marked for crop performance measurement. Means and standard deviation will be used to indicate crop performance per farm. Partial budget will be used to show the effect of frafting and rainshelter.

Data Gathering

Crop performance data such as insect and disease occurrence/damage, percent survival, number of fruiting plants, yield per plant, number of fruits to a kg yield and marketable yield will be properly recorded per farm/beneficiary.

Recommended cultural practices for grafted tomato seedling production and grafted tomato fruit production (Aganon et. al, 2002) shall be followed (Please see attached).

• Technology upscaling

Grafting facilities are proposed to be managed by local government units and/or cooperatives I order to generate income from sales of seedlings and sustain the labor requirement for grafting. As expertise is built in terms of management and operation of grafting centers more farmers can be assured of seedling supply. Furthermore, private entrepreneurs will have the interest to put up grafting centers as more and more farmers go into grafted tomato production. Production both of seedlings and tomato fruits shall be integrated with marketing. Marketing tie ups (at the moment a marketing tie for salad tomato is in place) shall be strengthened and expanded by consolidating the producers in order to demand a better price for their produce.

Source of Technology: Development of peri-urban vegetable production systems for sustainable year-round supplies to tropical Asian cities

Source of Research Fund : Government of Germany (GTZ ) through The Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center

Location: Municipalities of San Ildefonso, Plaridel, Marilao, Doña Remedios Trinidad, Hagonoy, Malolos, Pulilan, San Jose Del Monte, San Rafael in Bulacan; Camiling, Sta Ignacia, Anao in Tarlac; Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija;

Cooperators: Vegetable farmers

Farmer association/Leader: Samahan ng Kababaihan, Camachile, Doña
Remedios Trinidad, Kamlong Vegetable Growers
Association, Tabon, Pulilan, Malolos Crop Growers
Association, Balayong, Malolos City , San Ildefonso
Vegetable Growers’ Association

Number of Technology Adopters : 68 farmers from 13 municipalities

Date when Technology Adoption and Commercialization was started: May, 2002