by Marciano Paroy Jr.
Research becomes meaningless when its results gather dust in shelves overflowing with literature devoted to technical subjects. Technology becomes useless when its advantages cannot be utilized by a target segment of the population which is supposed to benefit from it.
Not so in the case of the Tissue Culture Laboratory of the Research and Extension Department of the Kalinga Apayao State College. Having spent a considerable amount of fund, time, and effort on the improvement of banana suckers that would produce disease-resistant plantlets, the Laboratory, manned by tissue culture expert Dr. Hazel Buslig, is now ready to reap its first batch of plantlets that have been cultured to ward off diseases, and grow to be robust – thereby potentially increasing the profit considerations of banana farmers.
After several months at the tissue culture lab, and after proving to be adaptable in Tabuk climatic conditions when they were moved to the demo farm, the lacatan banana plantlets can now be dispersed to farmers who are always looking for the best plantlets to raise. The plantlets are also targeted to enterprising farmers who may want to shift to banana production.
Banana cultivation, of course, is not a foreign crop of choice to farmers in the province, as there are many of them who also include the crop in their overall production projects – rightfully recognizing it as one of the high-yielding value crops that are being prioritized by the Department of Agriculture.
“Farmers now have the opportunity to avail of lacatan plantlets that have passed rigorous culturing inside the laboratory,” Mr. Ferdinand Ganotice, KASC Research Coordinator, said. “But farmers, especially the new banana growers, have a lot to consider; like the proper handling of plantlets, the time of planting, the distance of planting, and the method of planting.”
“That is where we can extend additional help to the farmers, since we have technical experts that can address concerns on banana production,” Dr. Maximo Garming, KASC Extension Director, added.
With the lacatan plantlets readily available, does it mean that farmers can visit KASC and buy their plantlets here?