Monday, May 28, 2012

Environment: Food Security is Green Revolution at the Grassroots. Self-Administered Test (True or False, 50 Items)

Painting in oil by AVRotor

 Can you identify these vegetables? Recall the song Bahay Kubo (My Nipa Hut), and list down the plants mentioned.

Abe V Rotor
DZRB Green Revolution Test
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid
738 KHz DZRB, 8 to 9 evening class
Monday to Friday

1. Green Revolution is a term that refers to the development of agriculture, tracing it from the time man settled down to raise animals and plants up to the present in which genetically modified organisms (GMO) of plants and animals are being produced.

2. Green revolution does not encompass agro-processing such as the making of brewed coffee beans, patis and bagoong, wine and vinegar, milk, cheese and ham, and the like – because these are beyond the farmer’s capability - financially and technically.

3. Green revolution must fit well into the demands of the market, which means that the raising of crops and animal and all attendant activities must conform to such “market directed” principle.

4. We are still nomadic like our primitive ancestors were, in the sense that we still derive much of our food and other needs from the sea, hills and forest. Furthermore, we travel far and wide from our homes and families in search of our basic economic needs – food, clothing, shelter and energy. This neo-nomadic syndrome has been spurred by our modern way of living influenced by overpopulation, industrialization, science and technology.

5. Growing affluence and increasing level of living standard takes us farther and farther away from the basic concept of green revolution, whereby ideally a family lives under one roof guaranteed by the bounty of the land the members cultivate, and historically built within framework of culture and tradition.

6. Based on the previous question, growing affluence and standard of living is the reason why modern China cannot prevent its thousands – nay millions – of young inhabitants to move out of the confines of a once socialistic confine in search of the Good Life that they very much deserve.

7. The least sprayed vegetables – that is, vegetables that do not necessarily require the application of pesticides – are those that grow wild. Thus the ruling is, the more native a vegetable is, the more resistant it is to pest.

8. Green Revolution started as a movement in the Philippines way back in the fifties with the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement during the time of President Ramon Magsaysay, with the youth at the helm, led by 4-H Clubs, Rural Improvement Clubs (RIC), Boys Scouts and Girls Scouts, public and elementary schoolchildren, and barrio folks.

9. The crowning glory of Philippine Green Revolution was the attainment of self-sufficiency in food and other agricultural products following a food crisis in the early seventies. Through M-99, Maisan 77, and many barangay food production programs, the country even surpassed suffiency level and became a net exporter of rice and other food commodities.

10. When you introduce a new plant in your garden – a plant that has not been tried before – you are sure it is virtually free of pests, firstly because it did not bring with it the pests from its origin, and second, the local pests would take time to develop the taste for it.

11. The longest stage or phase of Green Revolution was the expansion of horizons during the colonial period whereby land was forcibly taken and consolidated into estates and haciendas by the colonists. One such case is our own haciendas, a number of them still are still existing and operating like President Cory’s family hacienda – Luisita – which was singularly exempted from land reform.

12. The corporate world swallowed up small businesses including small farms in the US, Europe and in fact all over the world, such that the capitalist robbed the entrepreneur of his resources, technology, market, and worst, his potentials and therefore his future. (Economies of scale –is this the nemesis of small business?)

13. Today’s fast emerging technologies continue to favor the capitalist thus making him grow even bigger (examples: McDonalds, San Miguel, Robina, Nestle’ and Jollibee conglomerate). This is what social scientists call Neo-colonialism, a kind of agriculture reminiscent of the colonial times. (Or is the trend today the opposite - the dinosaur syndrome is killing the beast.)

14. The most nutritious of all vegetables in terms of protein are those belonging to the legume family. In fact a number of legumes have higher protein content than meat. T

15. If we rank from highest to lowest in protein content these vegetables should be listed as follows: soybean, segidillas or calamismis (pallang), mungo, tomato, malunggay.

16. It is better to specialize on certain crops in your garden for practical management. If leafy vegetables, plant pechay, lettuce, mustard, alugbati, talinum, and you need the same kind of soil, topography, amount of water, tools, planting schedule and season, and market.

17. Mang Tonio is a simple farmer. He plants rice in his small paddy once a year because this is what other farms are doing, and it is tradition in the area. They say don’t break away sa naka-ugalihan. If you agree with Mang Tonio answer true, if not false.

18. It is possible that a one-hectare farm can produce as much as a four-hectare farm does, even without additional amounts of inputs like fertilizer, pesticide and water.

19. The idea of cottage agro-industry is to make use of inferior quality products that bring more profit or value-added advantage. Examples: immature and broken peanut into butter, overripe banana and tomato for catsup, fruit fly infested guava and mango for puree; typhoon damaged sugarcane into vinegar, bansot piglet into lechon, unsold fish and shrimps into bagoong and patis, and the like.

20. Samaka is a movement, acronym of Samahan ng Masaganang Kakanin – the united effort of a group to have more plentiful food for their families. It is the precursor of successful food production programs later led by PACD (Presidential Arm in Community Development), RCPCC (Rice and Corn Production Coordinating Program) later to become National Food and Agriculture Council (NFAC) which implemented Masagana 99, Maisan 77, Manukan Barangay, Bakahang Barangay, Wheat Production, Soybean Production, and other production programs then under President Marcos. Unfortunately all these were virtually erased after the Edsa Revolution.

21. Botanically speaking, the parts of these plants we eat are classified as follows: cassava tuber is a root, so with kamote, peanut is a fruit, potato tuber is a stem, onion bulb is a leaf.

22. When buying papaya, the more yellow the fruit appears, the more mature it had been picked from the tree. Avoid buying papaya that appears dominantly green and yellow or orange only at the ridges.

23. There are five kinds of vegetables according to the parts of the plant (botanical classification). The following are classified under at least two kinds: squash or kalabasa, ampalaya, malunggay, sinkamas, short sitao or paayap.

24. The production capacity of genetically modified crops of corn, potato, and soybean – the most common GMO food we are taking every day - has increased even without increasing the supply of nutrients in the soil. GMOs are the world’s ultimate recourse to feed an ever increasing population now approaching the 6.5 billion mark.

25. Our soil and climate are favorable to many crops. Let us plant our rice fields and corn fields after harvest season with the following crops so that we will not import them and spend precious dollars, and that, it is the Filipino farmer and not the foreign farmer whom we patronize and subsidize. Potato (potato fries), Soybean (soybean oil, TVP, tokwa, toyo, taho), White beans (pork and beans), wheat (pandesal, cake, noodles).

26. The role of Green Revolution generates in supplying food of a fast growing population is foremost even at the expense of clearing forest, leveling hillsides, reclaiming swamps – and even farming the sea.

27. Talinum is a small tree that is why it is so easy to grow, and will last for a long time, season after season and you have vegetables throughout the year. Alugbati is tree like malunggay. In fact they usually grow together in some forgotten corner, along dikes and fences, around open well, and does not need care at all practically speaking. Alugbati is best as salad, cooked with mungo, beef stew, sinigang, bulanglang.

28. Agro-ecology will always clash – there is no compromise. Either you are an ecologist or you are an economist. Take eco-tourism, eco-village, etc.)

29. All these plants are propagated by cutting. All you need to do is cut-and-plant a branch or stem – malunggay, kakawate or madre de cacao, katuray, ipil-ipil, cassava, sugarcane, talinum, alugbati, kamias.

30. Homesite for the Golden Years (HGY) which we launched on PBH last February 14 this year has the features of a integrated garden, enterprise, agro-industry, eco-sanctuary. The key is to supply this Patch of Eden (A Slice of Paradise) with all the amenities of modern living.

31. The area required for a Homesite for the Golden Years is greatly variable and flexible; it can be as small as 100 square meters to 10 hectares in area. This allows evolution of as many models as one could think of.

32. The numerous hanging round fruits (tubers) on the stem of ube are the ones we plant, especially on large scale.

33. Acclimatization means helping introduced plants and animals get adapted to their new environment. There are those that succeed but can’t reproduce; while others become better of that their counterparts they left behind.

34. Based on the previous question, there are plants that have not been fully acclimatized even after many years so that extreme attention is given to them like Crucifers – cauliflower, cabbage, wonbok, celery, lettuce, broccoli.

35. Bagging with ordinary paper and/or plastic bags and sacks is necessary to protect from the dreaded fruit fly the fruits of guava, mango, jackfruit, ampalaya, durian, orange, avocado, mangosteen, guyabano and atis. F

36. Green thumb is a gift of naturalism. Only those who have this genetic gift are chosen caretakers of God’s Garden of Eden. Others have the equivalent gift in taking care of aquariums, house pets, children’s nursery.

37. We have our local pansit: sotanghon comes from rice while bihon comes mungo. We import noodles, miki and lomi made from wheat, while macaroni and spaghetti are made from semolina wheat or pasta.

38. Value-added, a term in manufacturing gave rise to a new taxation E-VAT. To cope up with the added burden on the part of both entrepreneur and consumer, why not process your product and get instead the benefit of the new law? Example. Don’t just sell your palay harvest, have it milled sold as rice, make flour out of it, make puto and bihon, and others.

39. Based on the same question above, to get the benefits of VAT, market your own produce; be an entrepreneur, a middleman/trader and of course, a producer.

40. Start by planting the seeds of the following crops if you go wish into immediate commercial production – because the seeds of these plants are plentiful, you have no problem of supply: chico, guava, orange, mango, rambutan, lanzones, avocado, tiesa, atis, guayabano – as well as others that produce plenty of seeds. That’s how nature intended it to be.

41. Seeds always turn out genetically true to type. Big mango fruits come from seeds of big mango fruits, big guava means big guava, sweet pomelo – sweet pomelo, seedless atis – seedless atis, red pakwan – red pakwan.

42. Just follow the direction of the sun when you plant by rows and plots – north to south, so that there is less overshadowing of plants. In this case you may increase your harvest by as much as 10 percent.

43. Extend the shelf life of fruits such as mango, avocado, atis, guayabano, nangka, by rubbing salt at the end of the stem, the base of the fruit.

44. Momordica charantia is the scientific name of ampalaya. Why spend for commercial food supplement in bottle, syrup, tablets, pills or dry herbal preparations as advertised - Momordica or Charantia, or Ampalaya Plus? (Write true for each recipe, if correct)

45. All you need is buy a bundle of fresh ampalaya tops made into salad and dipped with bagoong and vinegar. It’s good for the whole family.

46. Or add ampalaya leaves to mungo and dried fish or sautéed pork.

47. Pinakbet anyone? Native or wild ampalaya cut in half or quarter without severing the cut.

48. Ampalaya and egg, scrambled.

49. Roasted young ampalaya fruit, cut crosswise and served with bagoong.

50. Ordinary people like anyone of us can secure for ourselves and family enough food and proper nutrition. This is food security in action. It is food security that gives us real peace of mind. The biological basis does not need farther explanation. It is the key to unity and harmony in the living world. Queuing for rice defeats the image of a strong economy. High prices of food do not give a good reflection either. How about ASEAN, UN, WHO? ASEAN commitment to regional food security, food aid from the UN or US may simply ease the impact of food shortage or inequity in its distribution, but they are but palliative measures. And having a dreamer Joseph in public food depot is not reliable either. It is green revolution at the grassroots that assures us of not only food but other necessities of life – and self employment. It is that piece of Paradise that has long been lost that resurrect in some corner of your home. Paradise is not lost, if you create one. Do you agree?

1. Let’s make a Lazy Man’s Garden at Home. What are plants considered literally tanim ng tamad, a syndrome many Filipinos fall into, a little bit of every thing (tingi-tingi), ningas kogon, makakalimutin, kulang sa tiyaga, and mapabaya’: papaya, malunggay, siling katuray, ube, patola, kondol, upon, alugbati, talinum, patani, batao, segidillas, kumpitis.

2. Ano-ano ang mga halaman na nakakain na hindi itinatanim. (What edible plants simply grow spontaneously)


Answers: These items are True: 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 18, 20, 21, 23, 30, 33, 34, 37, 38, 39, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50; all other items are False.

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