FAO.org

Home > Country_collector > FAO in the Philippines > News > Detail
FAO in the Philippines

FAO promotes indigenous cultures and traditions in agro-biodiversity conservation to mark the International Day of Biological Diversity

The Philippines is one of the few mega-diverse countries in the world – it is home to thousands of globally-significant agricultural species, including more than 5 500 traditional rice varieties.
24/05/2018

24 May 2018, Manila —The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in the Philippines joins in the celebration of the International Day of Biological Diversity (IDBD) by highlighting indigenous cultures and traditions in agro-biodiversity conservation through the participation of one of its projects in the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) 2018.

 

At this year’s IFEX, the project “Dynamic conservation and sustainable use of agro-biodiversity in traditional agro-ecosystems of the Philippines” will showcase agro-biodiversity products developed by community-based enterprises from the municipalities of Hingyon and Hungduan in Ifugao Province, and Lake Sebu in South Cotabato Province.

 

Funded by the Global Environment Facility and jointly implemented by FAO, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bureau of Agricultural Research with and partner local government units, the Agro-Biodiversity project aims to enhance and expand the dynamic conservation practices that sustain globally significant agro-biodiversity in traditional agro-ecosystems of the Philippines. The pilot sites were selected for their rich crop diversity conservation initiatives and farming practices.

 

The community-based enterprises will feature processed products from key crops such as taro, yam, tomato and ginger, as well as some traditional varieties of rice such as tinawon, imbuukan, minaangan and diket. These products are unique since the traditional rice varieties are grown on the rice terraces of Ifugao, especially in Hingyon and Hungduan, while the processed foods are being produced by the Tuwali Indigenous Peoples of Ifugao and T’boli Indigenous Peoples of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. 

 

“Among the ways we can fight hunger is ensuring food security through the availability of healthy, safe, and nutritious food. FAO supports and works with various stakeholders to promote sustainable food production and enhance the conservation and sustainable use of agro-biodiversity. We see this effort as one of the ways to ensure that crop genetic diversity is conserved and sustained, and at the same time continue support to quality food production for the population,” said José Luis Fernandez, FAO Representative in the Philippines.

 

The Philippines is one of the few mega-diverse countries in the world – it is home to thousands of globally-significant agricultural species. There are more than 5 500 traditional rice varieties in the country, along with a broad array of indigenous and endemic varieties of crops such as eggplants, mung bean, taro, yam, banana and abaca, among many others.

 

Through the Agro-Biodiversity project, IP communities will be provided with socio-economic benefits such as market-based incentive systems to encourage production of traditional varieties, detailed market-valuation analyses to assess the marketability of indigenous varieties as premium products, and stronger capacities for product development, value-addition, marketing, business and financial planning.

 

IFEX is organized by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM) and will be held from 25-27 May 2018 at the World Trade Center and Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City, Metro Manila. #