Philippines

Seed company opens micro veggie gardens at future-food institute

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Seed company opens micro veggie gardens at future-food institute

Related tags: Nutrition, Fruit, Vegetable

East-West Seed has begun collaborating with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute in the Philippines to develop improved varieties of vegetables that can be grown in home gardens.

The seed major has established a vegetable garden at the institute’s campus in Taguig City, where harvests of eggplant, okra, tomatoes and ampalaya have been showing promise.

The purpose of the exercise has been to show that technology can be used to make even small gardens worthwhile. Plans are underway to expand the project to the institute’s regional offices and those of the Department of Science and Technology.

Officials and food scientists have been trying to wean Filipinos onto more vegetables and reduce the consumption of rice, the country’s biggest staple.

The FNRI, for its part, has been researching ways to give foods more nutrition. One project has been to formulate a combination of rice and mungbean, which provides more lysine than rice alone. A number of companies have since made sachets of instant rice-mungo mix commercially available. Some have added mashed pumpkin, chocolate or chicken soup to the mixture.

The institute has also devised noodles enriched with pumpkin, polvoron fortified with vegetables and milk, and other fortified rices.

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