Traditional Food Crops and their Role in the Nutrition Well-Being of a Semi-subsistent Community in Kibungan, Benguet, Philippines

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Sherilyn B. Balauro Matyline A. Camfili- Talastas


Traditional food crops have helped the people of a community in  Kibungan, Benguet survive since time immemorial. This study  documented the existing traditional food crops, postharvest  practices and cooking methods, estimated the nutrient value  of these crops, and assessed the contribution of these to the  nutritional well-being of the community. Participatory Rural  Appraisal (PRA), key informant     interviews, focus group  discussion, participant observation, semi-structured interviews,  anthropometric assessment, and 24-hour food recall were  employed to gather data. Findings revealed 33 species of  traditional food crops that are available to community  members. Postharvest and cooking practices adopted were  simple or traditional. Results showed that traditional food  crops contribute to food security especially that they are readily available as sources of food at different times, cheaper than  commercially grown food crops, and add taste and flavor  or satiety to their diet.  The study also showed that these crops are significant sources of micro and macronutrients,  which improves the nutritional status of the people. With the  introduction of commercial crops, increasing pests and diseases  at present, and the continuing threat of climate change,  traditional food crops needs to be propagated and its production  improved. The development of postharvest technologies to  sustain production and engaging in agricultural entrepreneur is  also required to effectively contribute to people’s resilience and  nutritional  well-being.

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