"Facilitating the sourcing, building-up, delivery and exchange of information on agroforestry to support the sustainable development of natural resources."

The Agroforestry Information Network is a computer-based data bank that serves as a repository of knowledge/information about the commodity. This will serve as an important development tool in enhancing the dissemination of available information/technologies generated from various R&D activities. It will also support, interconnect and share information and information facilities among sectors with common interests.

Processing the fruits and leaves of wildfood plants into consumable products


Wildfood plants and fruits abound in the Cordillera Region. During peak season, plenty of wildfood fruits are being wasted. Food processing is the only remedy that can prevent perishability and wastage of these fruits.

Processing the wildfood fruits is also one economic activity that clienteles (housewives, students, etc.) can engage with to be able to cope with the current economic crisis. Wildfood processing could help alleviate the ever growing problem on food shortage and malnutrition in our country.

Advantages of engaging into this venture:

1. Processed wildfood plants and fruits have market potentials locally and abroad. This would enable a family to earn additional income aside from generating additional revenue for the government through taxes.
2. Processed fruits of wildfood can supplement the growing shortage of food. Processing them can prevent fruit wastage thus, ensuring supplemental food for future off-season.
3. Processing the wildfood fruits will enable one to have a reserve for consumption during fruit off-season.
4. Because of the economic benefits that could be obtained from wildfood processing, more upland farmers will be encouraged to develop plantations of wildfood plants thus, forest development and conservation will be fully enhanced.

This manual includes the processing of wildfruits commonly found in the Cordillera forests. These plants are: wild strawberry or pinit (Rubus niveus Thumb.), bignay (Antidesma bunius L.), sapuan (Sauraria sparsiflora Elm., Dill.), and a wildplant called gepas (Sarcandra glabra Thumb.).

The procedures/steps embodied in the manual are very simple, inexpensive and could be done by the average Filipino family. Also, the ingredients and utensils to be used are commonly found at home. Each product can be processed easily by following the step-by-step procedure.

The methods presented here may also be applied to other fruits with similar characteristics.

Wildberries (Rubus niveus Thumb.)

Wildberry is locally known as pinit. It is a scrambling, spiny shrub growing in thickets of limestone formation at 800-1,300 m having 5 to 9 leaflets with toothed margins. Wildberries are very abundant in thickets at more than 1,000 m elevation. They occur only in Benguet and Mt. Province. The fruits occur in terminal clusters and with a good flavor. Fruits can be eaten raw. Wildberries can be processed into jam, wine and candies.

Sapuan (Suararia sparsiflora Elm., Dill.)

Sapuan is one of the wild fruits that abound in the forest of the Cordillera. It is called degway in Sabangan and other parts of Mt. Province, and safuan by the Ibalois. This species is a medium-sized tree reaching a maximum height of about 6.0 m. It is prolific and fruits heavily over a long period of time, say four months or more starting from the month of July. The fruit is green, with sour taste and looks like carmay. Though mainly eaten as fresh fruit, sapuan can be processed into candies and pickles.

Bignay (Antidesma bonius [L.] Spreng)

Bignay is commonly called bugnay by the Ilocanos, Kalingas and Kankanaey; while the Kiangans of Ifugao call it bugney. Bignay attains a height from 4 to 10 m. It is known for its red, sour, void, single-seeded fruit. They are commonly found in thickets, open slopes as well as in and around settlements all over the Philippines. It grows in warm areas of the Cordillera below 1,200 m in elevation. The fruits are eaten raw when ripe and used for seasoning fish or meat. The fruits can be processed into vinegar, wine and jelly.

Gepas/Gipas (Sarcandra glabra Thumb./Nakai)

This wildfood plant is commonly called as itsa by Itnegs; somang by Kalinga; apot, tamoko, gapas by Ibalois; iddog in Bokod; and gummak in Tagalog.

Gepas is a spreading shrub, 60 cm to about 1 m tall. The leaves are oppositely arranged on swollen nodes, toothed, 10 to 15 cm long and up to 5 cm wide, leathery in texture, smooth, shiny and pleasantly aromatic when crushed. Flowers are yellowish green while the fruits are about 3 to 4 mm long, bright red when ripe and contains a single seed.

Gepas is widely distributed in the Philippines at medium to high elevations. In the Cordillera, gepas is abundantly found under the humid shades of mossy forests above 1800 meters elevation.

This shrub is commonly utilized in Benguet and Mt. Province as a beverage tea.

Gepas is known for its various medicinal properties. It is used to cure pneumonia, influenza, acute gastroenteritis, appendicitis and post-operative infections, diarrhea, ulcerating wounds, scalds, burns and rheumatic arthritis.

Source: DENR-CAR, 1993. Technology Transfer Series, Vol. 3(2).


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