For the past years, the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) through funding support from the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) has been conducting several varietal trials for organic vegetable production. The main purpose is to enable the Institute to recommend varieties of vegetables suited for organic farming.
What is organic vegetable production?
Organic vegetable production is a system based on the principle of taking care of nature and respecting all life forms. It is a progressing industry not only in the Philippines but mostly in America and Europe. This agricultural practice is health wise and cost effective since it does not use synthetic chemicals.
Some of the methods used in organic vegetable production include: organic fertilizer (using animal manure or compost as growing aids); intercropping (planting different types of plants); repellents (plants that release strong scents to fend off pests); attractants ( plants that appeal to natural enemies); crop rotation (planting legumes after harvesting the main crop to enhance the soil with nitrogen); and mulching (using hay or plastic to retain soil moisture, minimize the growth of weeds and to nurture the soil from extreme weathers).
IPB identified 11 kinds of vegetables suitable for organic vegetable production. These include eggplant, pepper , tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, string beans, bush beans cowpea, baguio beans and bunching onions.
Eggplant is one of the most planted and valuable among crops. It is the most consumed vegetable among Filipino households, particularly those belonging to the lower income bracket.
IPB recommended three eggplant varieties suited for organic production. These are: Concepcion (circular and greenish with white stripes); 455 (long and purple); 98-452 (long and purple); and Thep (long and greenish).
Pepper has a high demand and potential in the local market.
Among its recommended varieties fro organic production are: C1550 (greenish, slightly-spiced); inokra (greenish, non spiced); 99-232 (green, spicy) and Hp 21 9green, slender nonspiced)
This crop is third in terms of value of production. Tomato is the top major export crop of the country. Among the recommended varieties are: Prestige (del monte type, reddish, thick, and plump); Tropic boy (salad type, circular, the side is greenish) and 99-234 (del monte type plump)
This is a popular crucifer grown mainly in cooler areas. Among the recommended varieties include : 98-323 (whitish, narrow) and Tsx 97501 (yellowish, broad).
In terms of value of vegetable production, cabbage ranked eight with 8.2% average annual growth. Varieties recommended for organic production are Alex (green flat round) and Tropical King ( green, flat round)
This is a semi temperate vegetable which is popularly used in vegetable salad. Local varieties common in the country are the crisphead types that include the green and the red iceberg varieties. Other recommended varieties are President(green, heading ) and Kaiser (green heading).
This crop is very popular in backyard farming. Recommended varieties include: 228-1(green, long); CSL-19 (greenish long) and UPL Psi (green long)
Recommended varieties are CBD 53-2 (green) and UPLB S3 (slightly greenish).
Varieties for organic production include CES26-1 (green) and CCD 10-1 (green).
The only variety that IPB recommends for organic production is the B-21.
Bunching onions may be produced from immature, thickly planted white onion varieties and from commonly known japans bunching types. Green bunching onions are known by several names depending on the region of the country. Some of the names used are “scallions,” green onions, and spring onions.
All these terms can be used for immature onions. However, the green bunching onion sold in stores today is most likely a different species from the bulb onion. On the other hand, the most common green onions at present are Allium fistulosum.
The only variety of the bunching onion that is recommended for organic production is the aqua green.
For more information , please contact Dr. Rodel G. Maghirang, vegetable RDE network team Leader, Vegetable Crops Divisions, Institute of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture, UPLB, College 4031 Laguna or call at tel no.( 049) 5362298; 5362697
Source: BAR TODAY April June 2001 by Rita Dela Cruz