Breadfruit to address food security issues

MASS propagation of breadfruit is seen as one of the solutions for the Philippines’ need of food security, an official of the United Inventors/Innovators Organizations of the Philippines (UIIOP) said.

The UIIOP Interim Chairman Virgilio Sangutan said breadfruit cultivation is one of the solutions for the nation’s dire need of food especially in times of calamities including typhoons, drought, and war.

“Regarding food security, I have a letter addressed to the Office of the President. One of my proposals is the mass propagation of the breadfruit,” said Sangutan adding he also plans to approach Agriculture secretary Manny Piñol regarding this proposal.

Included in his proposal is for all barangays in the country nationwide to allot at least 10 hectares of land for breadfruit plantation with each hectare having around 85 trees. He added a single tree will take around four to five years before it will be able to bear fruit and an average tree will last bearing fruit until 85 years. One tree, according to him, can support at least five members of the family.

With this number, Sangutan said the production of breadfruit will be three times more than the production of rice. He added that this fruit contains potassium, protein, and vitamins that can be alternate for other foods and can also be processed to be an alternative for wheat.

“It contains high amount of protein that we cannot actually get with rice. Also, rice is even problematic if for example a person has high sugar level. With breadfruit, everything is there such as potassium, vitamins and minerals,” he said.

Sangutan added cultivation of breadfruits in the Philippines is suitable as it can grow and survive in different types of land including marshlands, seaside, field, and even hot areas.

He said even in Africa, breadfruit helped the people survive certain calamities like hunger and drought.

“That’s why I recommended that for every barangay, 10 hectares of land should be allotted for breadfruit plantation because the poverty and malnutrition can be helped solve. Ten hectares of breadfruit is sufficient enough to supply the food security of one barangay,” he said adding the fruit, aside the fact that it can be processed to be an alternative for wheat can then further be baked into bread and even made into ice cream among others.

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