North Cotabato agri office eyes alternative to rice

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 21 March) – The Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) of North Cotabato has embarked on doing further studies on an old cereal variety which could replace rice as the staple Filipino food.

A rice farm in North Cotabato. MindaNews file photo

Called “adlay”, the agency considers the variety a healthy cereal and the “best alternative to rice”.

PAO focal person Nimfa Saniel said they have distributed several varieties of ‘adlay’ to at least 14 farmer-cooperatives in the towns of Magpet, Matalam, Libungan and Makilala, and Kidapawan City.

She said adlay is an alternative food crop with “so much nutrients, like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.”

It also contains low glycemic index or sugar, she said.

A cereal like rice, corn, and wheat, adlay grains are treshed, winnowed, pounded, and cooked and served just like rice, the PAO said.

It can be used as a base ingredient for wine, vinegar, cookies, cereals, flour, and Filipino kakanin products like polvoron, maja blanca, and champorado.

It can also be used as animal feed, Saniel said.

Data from PAO said the adlay varieties that were distributed to farmer-beneficiaries included katigbi, tapul, gulian, ginampay, and kiboa.

Acting PAO head Remedios Hernandez said the research and development studies they’re currently doing on is part of their Cereal Crop Development Program being funded by the Cotabato provincial government. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)