Indigenous vegetables in the Philippines being studied in a UPLB-led project

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – Indigenous vegetables in the Philippines are being documented in a project being implemented by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). The project is funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

Prof. Nestor C. Altoveros of the Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Food Science (ICropS-CAFS), UPLB and his team documented various indigenous vegetables in the different parts of the country to discover how Filipinos utilize them as food.


A total of 104 indigenous vegetables have been identified in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Capiz, Iloilo, and South Cotobato, while another 55 plant species are for verification. He also reported the intraspecific variation of roselle, amaranthus, lima bean, and ‘lupo’ in the said provinces. 

Prof. Altoveros added that his team has collected 73 literatures from various sources and found that more than 208 species belonging to 100 genera are indigenous and are being utilized as food in the Philippines. The collected information is stored in two database management systems developed by the team consisting of primary and secondary data in production, conservation, utilization, and national and local literatures on indigenous vegetables.

To feature the project’s outputs and to showcase the different indigenous vegetables in the country, social media accounts were launched.

These findings were reported in a project review held recently at the BPK Function Room of DOST-PCAARRD, Los Baños, Laguna.

Renelle C. Yebron, Interim Head of the Monitoring and Evaluation Sub-Section of Crops Research Division (CRD), PCAARRD, congratulated the project team for the successful launching of the publications on ‘himbabao,’ ‘pako,’ ‘lubi-lubi,’ ‘lagikway,’ and ‘gabi’ during the 7th anniversary of DOST-PCAARRD. 

The outputs of the project will contribute to one of the goals of the Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) for vegetables, which is to increase consumption of healthy and safe vegetables in the country.

The activity was also attended by representatives from CRD and Applied Communication Division (ACD) of PCAARRD and from UPLB ICropS-CAFS.