The ERDB staff headed by Mr. Russel A. Olan together with Dr. Aleli M. Luna, retired ERDB-UFERD Chief attended the 2nd Annual Roselle Festival 2016 held on November 13, 2016 at the Shumei Natural Agriculture Farm in Barangay Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal.

Roselle Festival is part of the project headed by Dr. Antonio De Castro, Program Director of Shumei Natural Agriculture Farm. The project funded by the UNDP-GEF (United Nations Development Programme-Global Environmental Facility) under the AEGIS of DENR helps and protects the rich biodiversity of the Sierra Madre by enabling the Dumagats to improve their income and quality of life through sustainable use of the natural resources in the Sierra Madre range.

The project promotes the use of Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn.) as an intercrop in agroforestry programs for immediate income generation. Roselle from the family of Malvaceae, a plant native to Africa is grown in tropical areas such as Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand and Mexico. Roselle can be processed into iced tea, jams, cookies, cakes, and many other food supplements.

Mr. Olan provided a lecture on the Pilot Production of Roselle which was implemented by ERDB in 2001-2005. Participants include LGUs, POs, Dumagats, Earth Day Network, Tanay Tourism Association, Inc., University of Rizal System and from the MSAD 21D Philippine Army. Highlights of the festival are a short farm trek to Roselle plantation to view and pick Roselle. The program also included the display of processed Roselle, cooking demonstration and contest for different culinary school using Roselle plant.

With this development in Roselle plantation establishment, ERDB will look into a possible collaborative research project that will boost the production of this plant and its products. Russel A. Olan, UERD