By Maya M. Padillo
United Inventor/Innovators Organization of the Philippines Interim Chair Virgilio Sanggutan is pushing for the development of a 10-hectare breadfruit plantation to ensure food security in Mindanao.
Breadfruit has its origins in the region of Oceania from New Guinea through the Indo-Malayan Archipelago to western Micronesia while the trees have been widely planted in tropical regions elsewhere, including lowland Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean. The fruit is being served as a staple food in many cultures and the trees’ light, sturdy timber has been used for outriggers, ships and houses in the tropics.This is among the highlights of Sanggutan’s position paper that he submitted to the Office of the President in Malacañang to re-establish the Philippine Inventors Commission.
“In Mindanao we will focus on technology that will address food security. Looking in times of calamities such as typhoon, drought, war – kapag giyera walang makapagpalay . One of my proposals is a mass propagation of the breadfruit. If one barangay will maintain 10 hectares of breadfruit with 75 trees per hectare the production will reach 3 times from palay,” Sanggutan said.
Sangutan in his proposal said there is a comparison comparable between a riceland and breadfruit land.
“Pag matamaan ng flooding ang rice land at drought patay ito. The recommendation I submitted to Malacanang for every barangay nationwide to maintain at least 10 hectares of breadfruit plantation to address poverty and malnutrition. 10 hectares of plantation is sufficient enough to supply the food security of one barangay,” he said.
Sanggutan said breadfruit will bear fruits within four to five years up to 85 years as its production limit. He said even in Hawaii as part of their culture is to plant breadfruit whenever Hawaiian women give birth as it is believed that the child will not go hungry for a lifetime.
“Breadfruit has all the nutrients and vitamins and protein that are not in rice and can be planted even in marshland, coastal, mountainous areas. Through this breadfruit African survived the drought. Breadfruit can be made into ice cream, bread flour, and is alternative to wheat. Kaya nagsulat na ako sa Office of the President para may kaagad na action ewan ko kung kalian ang reply noon,” he said.
He is also proposing to re-establish Philippine Inventors Commission to be managed by five commissioners: two commissioners from Luzon, one from Visayas, and two from Mindanao. He also proposes to put regional offices to be headed by regional directors.
The United Inventors Innovators Organizations of the Philippines is pushing for the new proposed bill to restore the Philippine Inventors Commission. The said organization is composed of 23 inventors’ organizations throughout the country.
“Sa panahon ni (During the time of) Marcos RA No. 3850 the Philippine Inventors Commission was created but when former president Corazon Aquino took office she issued an Executive Order No. 128 abolishing the Philippine Inventors Commission,” Sanggutan said.
He said they already requested the Office of the President to make their proposal a priority bill. The proposed bill is now in the office of Senator Miguel Zubiri and the House of Representatives through Congressman Erico Aumentado.
“Napag-usapan na ito during the 16th Congress at ipinagpatuloy naming dahil naabutan ng recess,” he said.