Informal Seed System on Greater Yam (Dioscorea alata): Knowledge and Practices among Indigenous People in Northern Philippines

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Grace S. Backian Betty T. Gayao Dalen T. Meldoz


Indigenous knowledge on variety, seed selection and seed-related practices is very important in the maintenance of greater yam diversity. However, baseline information on indigenous production, storage, or exchange of traditional greater yam varieties, and planting materials is very limited, especially among the indigenous people of the Northern Philippines. Hence, this documentation using secondary data, key informant interviews, field observation, and photo documentation to validate gathered information. Indigenous farmers’ technique on the utilization and management of cut setts that weigh from 200-500g, aerial tubers, and small to big tubers allowed for the multiplication and maintenance of indigenous varieties. At present, the round and elongated varieties with purple-colored-flesh color are utilized in commercial purple yam production. Thus, the need to strengthen research and development on local or traditional varieties conservation and capacity building with emphasis on production, storage, and distribution.

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