October 4, 2022

Heirloom rice, aside from being cooked as kanin or rice, serves as a main ingredient in many local rice-based delicacies in the country, particularly in the Cordillera.

Farmers’ groups and communities do not fail to showcase their authentic delicacies or kakanin such as the inandila/dila-dila in Kalinga, patopat and linapet in Mountain Province, and suman and diket in Benguet.

But have you ever thought that it can be used for ice cream as well?

Nica Magdalena Tuguinay of Lagawe, Ifugao has chosen to venture into the production of heirloom rice ice cream.

This is her winning business model canvass and became a provincial awardee together with 55 more provincial winners in the 2022 National Young Farmers Challenge (YFC).

Tuguinay received a P50,000 grant, which she will use in her enterprise as she vies for the regional level award.

Tuguinay said she has chosen heirloom rice ice cream due to the low consumption of heirloom rice in their locality.

She said these are sold as an export product and being bought as a pasalubong item. While there are already heirloom rice by-products like cookies and biscuits locally, she noted they are yet to venture into ice cream.

“The ice cream is suitable for snacks or desserts especially the kids who are fond of it,” Tuguinay said.

These situations gave her the idea to innovate and come up with ice cream heirloom rice as the base ingredient.

They have been engaged in local ice cream production so her expertise in this field is helpful in realizing her chosen enterprise.

The heirloom rice will be used as substitute to starch which is the main ingredient in their ice cream production.

Tuguinay added it would be more nutritious and helpful for the heirloom rice farmers in their community.

Heirloom rice is known to possess higher amount of nutrients like Zinc and Iron including antioxidants, which fight free radicals in the body.

Various researches on heirloom rice nutrient analyses also showed the darker the color/pigment, the more nutrients it has.

Tuguinay is hopeful that with the DA grant, she will be able to develop her enterprise not only for her own benefit but to provide possible marketing of heirloom rice being produced in the locality. She also shared a school in her locality has ordered heirloom rice ice cream for their feeding program.

The school found Tuguinay is developing the ice cream and wanted to try it for their feeding program.

It was her first order so far she is grateful because more than the payment, the school’s evaluation of her product would help her improve it.

She thanked the DA for the interventions done for young farmers to boost their agri-entrepreneurial skills that are helpful in the growth of the agriculture sector. – Janice B. Agrifino