Saturday, September 23, 2023

‘Pinakbet’ Indigenous Food Plants Shine In ‘Veggie FIESTA’


‘Pinakbet’ Indigenous Food Plants Shine In ‘Veggie FIESTA’

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Lowland vegetables and indigenous food plants took the center stage at the Student Center of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Batac City, Ilocos Norte during the two-day Veggie FIESTA, promoting various technologies readily available for would-be investors and other stakeholders.

The term “FIESTA” stands for Farms and Industry Encounters Through the Science and Technology Agenda. It is an event-based technology promotion and transfers to reach out to its target beneficiaries.

Highlighting the Ilokano flavor made available in tetra packs, as well as in bottle and plastic containers, several new products of the state-run MMSU, such as black garlic, tomango (tomato-mango) juice, picked fruits and veggies, mango sinigang mix with kamangeg (indigeneous root crop), malunggay powder, furikake with black garlic rice seasoning, and gluten-free kamangeg flour, among others, were exhibited to wrap up the month-long celebration of the cluster fiesta on vegetables participated by the country’s leading lowland vegetable producers.

Spearheaded by the Ilocos Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (ILAARRDEC) based in MMSU, and the Central Luzon Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium based in Central Luzon State University, the pioneering veggie fiesta celebration aims to provide better opportunities for agri-industry players who would wish to take advantage of ripe technologies developed by researchers to uplift the living conditions of the local community.

In a press conference, Dr. Epifania Agustin, ILAARRDEC program leader, said Tuesday that through the FIESTA, “technologies from the consortia and member institutions are being promoted to help farmers increase their yield and reduce production cost without compromising the environment.”

Some of the vegetable technologies highlighted in the event are a tomato post-harvest technology that prolongs the shelf life of harvested tomatoes using rice hull, the establishment of communal gardens in urban areas, as well as organic-based onion and garlic production.

Meanwhile, master chef RJ Roylo of GMA Network also joined the festivity as he led a cook fest on Tuesday afternoon, featuring a unique fusion of veggie pinakbet and veggie pie to encourage more children to eat vegetables.

The celebrity chef is known as an advocate of healthy and safe meals. (PNA)