"Istorya balatung": chronicles from the mungbean farmers of the Itawes communities in Enrile, Cagayan, The Philippines
Harold Carag, Leomir Diaz
University of the Philippines Diliman, Institute of Biology, College of Science, Philippines
Mungbean (Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek) is a staple crop in the Philippines. Regarded as the poor man's meat, it is a cheap source of protein among rural households. This study aims to determine the mungbean varieties cultivated in Enrile, Cagayan. It also investigates the cropping pattern and the cultivar preference of the farmers. We used qualitative methods such as key informant interviews and participant observation to answer our research questions. To verify the identity of these varieties, we also performed DNA barcoding using its seeds. We found out that the Itawit farmers cultivate three different mungbean varieties which they locally name: “ursit”, “Taiwan green”, and “miracle”. The variety of preferences to cultivate among the farmers depends on the location of their farmland. In the "areg" lands near the river, "Taiwan green" is the preferred variety while in the "tanap", "ursit" is the variety of choice. Mungbeans are cultivated after one cropping season, preferably during the summer or dry season. In 30 or more days, pods are already dried and ready for harvesting. Farmers either consume or sell their harvest. Using the three primers (rbcL, matK, and ITS2), we were able to molecularly authenticate the species of the plant but failed to verify its variety. We recommend using more specific primers to identify the variety of this crop. The varieties of the mungbean seeds indicate the genetic diversity of the plant. However, we should primarily conserve the native or local variety of these species to protect the agrobiodiversity in the locality.
Keywords: Cropping system, economically important crop, genetic diversity, mungbean
Contact Address: Harold Carag, University of the Philippines Diliman, Institute of Biology, College of Science, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines, e-mail: hmcaragup.edu.ph