IN A bid to address food security and food sufficiency, agricultural researchers found adlai or Chinese barley as a cheaper alternative for rice.
Department of Agriculture (DA)-Davao senior science research specialist Merly Salaver underscored the importance of having alternatives in providing food supply on the table of most Filipino families.
“Mao pud nang ginabuhat namo ning mga research kay para we can come up sa mga bag-ong findings na makatabang sa atong community (That’s why we are doing these researches to come up with new findings in helping our communities), Salaver said during the 2018 Stakeholders Technology Forum and Food Exhibit at Manambulan, Tugbok District, Davao City.
Salaver added that with their extensive research they found adlai to have a huge potential market can be gained by local communities in growing the crop.
DA’s researches on adlai showed that the indigenous crop grows along streams or ditches where water is overflowing and abundant.
“Kaning adlay kasagara ang gamit niya na nahibaw-an kay material on ornamental crafts. Kasagara ang gamit niya kay sa beads sa rosary. Pero sa among research pud nakita na pwede pud diay siya para sa pagkaon (This adlay is usually used as a material for ornamental crafts, usually used as beads on rosaries. But in our research we saw that it could serve as food),” Salaver said.
Just like its counterparts (rice and corn), adlai is highly nutritious. In a chemical analysis provided by Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), a 100-gram serving of adlay is rich in carbohydrate (73.9 g), protein (12.8 g), and fat (1.0 g). It is also packed with other minerals including calcium (25 mg), phosphorus (43.5 mg), iron (5 mg), niacin (4.3 mg), thiamine (0.28 mg), and riboflavin (0.19 mg).
Salaver said the indigenous crop is low in sugar which is good for Filipinos who are suffering from diabetes.
“Sa pagkakarun wala pa juy siyay dako nga market kay nagasugod paman pud ang farmers ug magtanom nga mas daghan para sa mga mupalit (For now, adlai does not have a huge market since farmers are still starting to plant more for those who will buy),” Salaver said.
The agricultural researcher also said their research on adlai only started in 2012. Currently, Davao city is producing three tons of adlai being sold to businesses having adlai as a raw material for flour.
Salaver added DA will conduct more seminars in teaching farmers effective ways in increasing adlai yield.