Friday, May 2, 2014

Cultural resource management for seed selection, seed keeping and storage

          Blaan upland rice farmers have their unique cultural resource management for seed selection, seed keeping and storage. Most farmers inherited their seeds from their family and forefathers. Some got their seeds through barter and labor payment, some from the Barangay Council and the UDP, some from seed exchanges among relatives living in another place.
Air drying

Fol, storage house and also for airing freshly harvested upland rice
Tidal, unique way of seed storage for next planting season

Coconut shell for storing very small quantity of rare upland rice varieties

Use of lihub, sacks, baen (baskets) and kalfilo (shoulder bag-like basket)
 Given the volume of their harvest, they use a storage house called fol, a hallowed bamboo called tidal, a cylindrical container made out of tree bark called lihub, indigenous basket called baen, bluyot  and kalfilo. Some use sacks in the absence of the baen,bluyot or kalfilo. For very small quantity of diminishing variety, they use a nicely polished big coconut shell. Other farmers make bundles of upland rice and hang them in a safe place near the kitchen to dry the seeds and keep away from rats. These cultural practices for seed storage made the upland rice farmers effective seed custodians, keeping and continually planting their traditional varieties. Women played and equally significant role as the male counterpart with regards to seed selection for the next planting season.

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