Study: ‘Patani’ leaves help in rice storage

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ILOCOS NORTE: A school-based research group has come out with a study showing palay (unmilled rice) can be stored safely by simply using leaves of the lima bean (patani) crop.

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In their study, student-researchers of the City of Batac National High School (CBNHS) have shown that leaves of the lima bean crop are effective for keeping stored palay safe from weevils.

The study conducted by the students who belong to the Special Science Class of CBNHS showed cleaned lima beans leaves, when used as base-cover for storage containers, will keep palay safe from weevil infestation and rotting.

“This a breakthrough that could help a lot of farmers. It is practical but a very effective means to address the perennial problem on the attacks of weevils to stored palay grains, which usually causes economic loss among many farmers,” Thelma Ruguian, the student-researchers’ class adviser, said.

More popularly known as bukbok, weevil is a pest that destroys agricultural produce.

Ruguian said the study conducted by her students revealed that lima beans leaves’ acid component repels the weevil.

“Generally, we could say that a leaf of lima bean is an effective organic and environment-friendly pesticide, as it is free from dangerous chemical,” she added.

Ruguian said the presence of active components in fresh lima bean leaves against the pest was confirmed by the College of Health Sciences of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Batac City in the phytochemical screening it conducted.

Scientifically known as Phaseolus lunatus, lima bean is a vine vegetable crop that is commonly planted in backyards and farms.

The crop has also been found to have nitrogen-fixing bacteria that can effectively enhance soil productivity. There are other uses of lima beans, but more intensive follow-up researches are needed, Ruguian added.

LEANDER C. DOMINGO

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