The Sakwa (Gabing San Fernando) experiment


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To reduce the cost for used feeder in the piggery some guys started in 1999 a test with feeding partly Gabing San Fernando.

Sakwa feeding experiment

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Feeds comprise about 70% of the total cost of swine production. During the review of the FSSRI-BAR project entitled 'Improving the Integration of Animal Production in the Upland Farming Systems of Selected Communities in Mt. Banahaw' in December 1999, trials on alternative feeds for swine was suggested by the Officers of the partner farmers organizations. Among the alternative feed ingredients mentioned were cassava (Manihot esculenta) and the corms of Gabing San Fernando (Yautia sp., Family Araceae) locally known as sakwa.

The use of cassava had already been studied as an alternative to corn for feeds. Results of several experiments have proven that the performance of animals given with cassava-based feeds is comparable to those fed with corn based rations. However, its use as feeds was constrained by the availability of the materials. Demand for starch and table consumption are higher, hence the price of raw materials become prohibitive for feeds.

On the other hand, sakwa, a by-product of gabi production, is traditionally used as feeds for swine particularly at the finishing stage. The sliced sakwa and gabi leaves are usually given fresh or boiled with feed concentrates.

Gabing San Fernando Among other root crops grown in the Philippines, gabi ranks third to sweet potato and cassava in production and hectarage. It is generally grown as a backyard crop. Gabing San Fernando is the Tagalog term for Yautia or Tannia (Common name). This is also referred to as Takudo in Cebuano and Butig in Waray. Gabing San Fernando is a robust slant and generally adapted in the upland condition. It thrives best in deep, loose, friable and sandy loam soil with abundant organic matter and moisture. It is well adapted in plateaus and can withstand even soils dominated by cogon. Although it can be planted anytime of the year it performs best when planted at the start of the rainy season. This crop is resistant to adverse climatic conditions including drought and relatively resistant to pest and diseases.

Gabing San Fernando ranks second to sweet potato in terms of nutritive value and digestibility. Sakwa of Gabing San Fernando has a crude protein (7.67%) comparable to that of corn, thus giving it a greater potential use as feed ingredient. It has a more or less spherical shape while the corms are flask-shaped, usually larger than those of gabi.


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