Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Philippine Wild Berry Studied

Women Rural Improvement Club members with
their harvest of wild berry
Close up of a couple of ripe berries and a green one.
HARVESTING WILD BERRY
A few years back, a wild berry growing abundantly in Mt. Banahaw and other towns in Quezon province caught the attention of the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) as a possible object of research. The wild plant is locally called Sapinit which might as well be called the Pinoy wild berry. Botanical name: Rubus rosifolius.


DA-BAR, headed by Dr. Nicomedes Eleazar, set aside a fund of over a million pesos for researchers from the Quezon Agricultural Experiment Station in Tiaong to study the culture and develop possible products out of the berries that become very attractive red when ripe.
  
The researchers, headed by Dr. Concepcion Amat, not only studied the best ways to propagate and cultivate the wild plant in a demo farm in Brgy. Kinabuhayan in Dolores, Quezon, but also how to process the fruits into useful food products.
   
They found out that the plants were easy to grow. The plants that were planted in March 2009 produced the first harvestable fruits the following December or just a matter of 9 to 10 months after planting.

They also reported that the fruits are suitable for consumption as fresh fruit or they can be processed into wine, juice and jam. The next step that the researchers took was to train the women members of a rural improvement club in Dolores to process the fruits so that the excess production that could not be sold for the fresh fruit market could be fully utilized.

The technicians of the experiment station have also been teaching the farm families to produce organic fertilizer which they could use in growing their Sapinit crops. That way the harvests could be considered as organically grown and would command a much higher price than if the plants were grown the conventional farming way, using a lot of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

The promising results of the experiment conducted by Dr. Amat and her colleagues could lead to a number of possibilities. The upland areas hitherto uncultivated for traditional crops could be used to grow Sapinit. In the place where the plant grows well and fruits well, the finished products could be the town’s OTOP or one-town-one-product.

Since the Sapinit has been growing as a wild plant in the uncultivated areas, it is highly suitable for production the organic way. Processed organic products could be sold initially in weekend markets where organic products are becoming popular.

The products could be exposed to the public during trade fairs just like the annual trade fair conducted by the DA-BAR in conjunction with its anniversary. This year, for instance, the agency will be conducting an agri-fair and techno-forum on commerciable technologies. This will be from August 9 to 12 at the SM Megamall Trade Halls 1 and 2 in Mandaluyong City.

By the way, aside from Dr. Amat, the researchers on the Sapinit project included Rolando Cuasay, Dennis Bihis, Lani Averion, Arnel Repaso and Anniewenda Reyes.

3 comments:

  1. I am so amazed about this article and the idea of the study although it is not that new in science..i didn't know we have wild raspberry here in Philippines..i'm just curious what temperature does this plant thrive in,are there any seedlings available for sale,how much would it cost,i am so interested please if you get this message can you contact me with this number 09085182447,,thank you so much and more power

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  2. I'm an aspiring berry grower based in Cebu. I would gladly appreciate if you can point me to the right direction where I can purchase local "sapinit" seedlings. Tried calling and sending emails to Quezon Agricultural Experiment Station
    Department of Agriculture Region 4A but to no avail. Hope you can help me.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Meron po akong sapinit na bigay sa akin ng isang kaibigan. Tinanim ko siya as cutting sa Apalit, Pampanga pero mukhang mabagal siyang lumaki at hanggang ngayon ay wala pa ring bunga, nasa kalahating taon na yata siyang nakatanim sa lupa. Umusbong naman siya kahit papaano at meron na rin akong nakitang mga lateral shoots na tumubo around it.

    Lately nag-cut ako ng ilang stems para dalhin ko sa Makati at ilagay sa container para doon palakihin. How I wish na mag-flourish at magbunga siya sa Makati.

    Napansin ko ring iba ang shape ng mga leaves ng sapinit ko sa mga nakikita kong shape ng leaves sa internet. Sana meron pong makapag-sabi kung anong variety ang sapinit ko at mabigyan ako ng info kung paano siya alagaan, other than just watering and exposing them to the sun.

    Maraming salamat! Meron akong mga pics sa Facebook ko ng sapinit para po macheck po ninyo yung variety ng sapinit ko. :)

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153538467980258&set=pb.532830257.-2207520000.1389110741.&type=3&theater

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