Jack C. Gadaingan, Manila Bulletin

NAVAL, Biliran — Farmers in this island province have been encouraged to plant fruit trees using only quality seedlings.

This will be one of the priorities of the provincial government which has embarked on the mass production of planting materials with the use of what is now called the Scion Technology.

Biliran Governor Rogelio “Roger” J. Espina said successful implementation of this program shall address the dearth of quality fruits and later provide residents with quality fruits.

Espina said they will see to it that there will be a continuous source of quality fruit tree planting materials around the island.

“This is a strategy to address the goal of increasing farmers’ accessibility to use top quality planting materials,” the governor said.

The project is being undertaken in partnership with the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Research, where the national agency has provided P1.018 million to the provincial government that also allotted a counterpart of P1.739 million to fund the program.

The nursery for this joint research effort is located on a two-hectare property owned by the provincial government at Barangay Larrazabal in this capital town.

Presently, a research is ongoing for six fruit varieties for their adaptability in the local terrain.

These trees are jackfruit (AES No. 1), rambutan (Rrrr-5 and SP variety), pummelo Martha, lanzones (duko variety), durian (GD-69), and calamansi.

The procedure undertaken is expected to produce fruit seedlings or planting materials called “propagules” sourced from quality scion of certified mother trees. This is done by inserting planting materials into the rootstock.

Corsino Jadulco, supervising agriculturist and research development coordinator, said mass-produced developed seedlings from this research will already be available for distribution after one year.

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