Loss of Traditional Rootcrops Knowledge (TRK) Among Some Indigenous People in Nothern Philippines

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


The documentation of traditional knowledge on root and tuber crops production and utilization was done prior to this study of determining the loss of knowledge on the production and utilization of traditional root and tuber crop commodities among the Ibaloi, Bago, Tingguian and Iyattuka indigenous peoples in northern Philippines.

Results of this study showed that loss of traditional knowledge on root and tuber among the indigenous peoples is a reality only among the younger generation, particularly those born starting in the 1980’s. Loss of knowledge among the younger generation pertains both to conceptual and practical domain. Conceptual knowledge pertains to the diversity and variety of roots and tubers, growing landscapes, cropping practices and uses and local terms on roots and tubers. Practical skills pertain to cultivation and utilization practices.

There is no loss or little loss of knowledge for those born before the eighties. The one percent annual loss of knowledge among the 36-56 years middle age group is in practical skills on the cultivation and utilization practice, including the local terms for said cultivation and utilization practices. An exception is among the Ibalois who exhibited not a loss but an annual one percent increase in traditional roots and tubers knowledge.

Loss of knowledge for those born after the eighties is higher, ranging from 37-64% reflecting an annual loss of 2-3% among the 15-35 years age group of the Bagos and Tingguians and a one percent annual loss for the younger Ibalois and Iyattukas.

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