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PIA Press Release
Friday, January 20, 2012

 

Feature: 'Crisis crops' star at 12th Ubi Festival

by Rey Anthony H. Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 20 (PIA) -- They are huge, they are wild, and they are called “crisis crops” and they are the stars at the on-going 12th Ubi Festival in Bohol.

The annual festival sponsored by the Office of the Provincial Agriculture in cooperation with various agencies in the province aims to showcase the varieties of Ubi and to show reverence and present the potentials of Bohol's leading ethno-religious crop.

According to assistant provincial agriculturist Larry Pamugas, the Ubi is considered a "crisis crop" because it is thrives even in harsh conditions such as long droughts.

The 12th Ubi Festival will feature the province’s 13 best yam varieties including the famous purple yam, crisis crops and popular rice substitutes such as “Bot,” “Kot” and “Limalima.”

Benedicto Bulawan, 50 and an Ubi farmer from barangagy Can-agong, Sikatuna town admits It is usually the size that draws people to the display.

Bulawan with agricultural technicians from his town manned their display booth with an array of ubi varieties from fist-sized to massive crisis crops.

The Sikatuna booth also goes out the extra mile to side-feature a “bot” that weighed 38 kilos; “kot,” that bears tagged over 40 kilogram and a "lima-lima" that grew to a spreading 50 kilograms.

Bulawan explained that the "Bot" is a wild apale that grows on abandoned root-crop patches and grows wild and huge when harvested after four or five.

The “kot” on the other hand is the wild ube that regenerates and grows huge after the following cropping seasons, Bulawan added.

"The 'Lima-lima' according to a Sikatuna agri-technician needs special care, specifically in its preparation prior to cooking.

"When you cook the 'Lima-lima' it has to be washed in running water, air-dried, washed again and dried before it can be cooked or food poisoning can occur," he warns.

Lima-lima, although not usually picked by starving communities for its notorious thorns, can also be eaten as rice substitute.

"These crops have helped communities survive wars simply by digging these wild crops from their forest hide-outs," Pamugas said.(mbcn/rahc/PIA-Bohol)

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