COIX LACRYMA-JOBI LINN. - AN UNDERUTILIZED GRASS FOR FOOD SECURITY AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF RURAL COMMUNITIES

L.G. Lirio, J.N. Paing, R.K. Lan-ew
Coix lacryma-jobi, which folks in Benguet, Philippines call, in various local names, “adlay”, “katigbi”, “takay-an”, and “takjan”, is dwindling in population and is now rarely seen in the wild. The reasons include farmers weeding out the plant growing near their rice paddies, and that they would gain more if they plant other valuable crops. Belonging to the same family as rice, corn, sorghum, and oat, i.e., family Poaceae, Job’s tears (the plant’s English name) is known to have a wide array of uses, but the economic potential has been poorly addressed, thus its value is confined mostly to traditional or local uses only. Interviews with the rural folks, conducted from September 2008-October 2010, documented two types of Job’s tears - the cultivated and wild type. The former is utilized as food (e.g., porridge, coffee, or as wine), or to cure ailments like wounds, blisters, and urinary tract infections, while the latter is made into ornaments (e.g., earrings, bracelets, rosaries, bags, curtains). Also found nutritious, Job’s tears can be used as a supplement or a reliable substitute to rice which is the staple food of many people in the world. Livelihood training sessions, mostly attended by women, on making eco-friendly novel products were conducted and their products were showcased during fairs and exhibits. In cooperation with our university bakery in Benguet State University, food products such as biscuits and variants of bread were made from Coix flour. These activities are intended to increase awareness of the importance of the plant; policy initiatives are deemed necessary in enhancing productivity and sustainable development of the local communities. Indeed, beyond food security concerns, such diverse uses would empower the rural folks economically. Protection and conservation of Job’s tears, henceforth would be apparent because people know that their livelihood and survival depend on the plant.
Lirio, L.G., Paing, J.N. and Lan-ew, R.K. (2013). COIX LACRYMA-JOBI LINN. - AN UNDERUTILIZED GRASS FOR FOOD SECURITY AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF RURAL COMMUNITIES. Acta Hortic. 979, 285-291
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.979.30
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.979.30
Benguet Philippines, Poaceae, Job's tears, ornaments, biodiversity, livelihood, adlay
English

Acta Horticulturae