By MARVYN N. BENANING
Philippines – Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala is keen on pushing the propagation of cassava, corn and the traditional indigenous staple adlai that provide better nutrition than rice.
Alcala made the pitch recently in reaction to inquiries about the capability of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to achieve its staples self-sufficiency program by the end of 2013.
The agriculture chief stressed that cassava is the staple in many areas of Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga and other parts of Mindanao while corn is favored by several million Filipinos, particularly in the Visayan-speaking regions.
“Adlai, a traditional indigenous staple, can be consumed just as well as rice, and it can be grown thrice a year. It is also good as feeds for poultry raisers,“ he explained.
Alcala explained that he is not discouraging rice consumption by any means and argued that it is important for the Filipino people to explore other staples.
Just as there are several varieties of rice, people can also consume a variety of grains, he argued, and expanding the range of their nutritional sources.