Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano (fifth from left) leads in the opening of the first tissue culture laboratory of the province. With him are (from left) Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 10 director Alfonso Alamban, provincial agrarian reform officer Zoraida Macadindang, Department of Agriculture (DA) 10 assistant director Carmelita Bajarla, Sugbongcogon Mayor Mildred Mondigo and Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) member President Elipe. PHOTO BY MARK FRANCISCO
By MARK FRANCISCO
THE provincial government of Misamis Oriental and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) jointly inaugurated Thursday (March 14) the first tissue culture laboratory in Misamis Oriental in Sugbongcogon town.
Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano welcomed the opening of the first tissue culture laboratory, saying it would not only boost the production of abaca and other crops by farmers in the province but uplift the economy of Sugbongcogon and nearby towns as well.
As a gesture of goodwill after the opening rite, the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAGRO) handed out 1,000 newly cultured abaca seedlings to farmers in Lagonglong, Salay, Sugbongcogon and Kinoguitan.
The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) also handed out a similar number of seedlings to the rest of the farmers in the said municipalities.
“We are prioritizing these municipalities because these are classified from fourth to sixth class municipalities. We are empowering them by boosting their production,” Emano said.
As of the present, Northern Mindanao accounts for 4,500 metric tons of abaca production a year.
Most of these abaca fibers are purchased in bulk by a processing plant in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte named Newtech Pulp, Inc.
Their CEO Petra Bursian graced the opening ceremony and also lauded the government’s efforts in setting up a tissue culture laboratory in the province.
According to provincial agriculturist Apollo Pacamalan, each cultured abaca medium can create 100 planting materials or seedlings. It takes eight months for one medium to be inoculated or cultured.
The tissue culture laboratory is currently selling cultured seedlings at P25 each but Emano said the price could go down to P10 if vice gubernatorial candidate President Eipe, current provincial board member, would win since he would introduce legislation on the matter.
The P5-million laboratory was constructed as early as 2015 but it was only on Thursday that it was inaugurated pending acquisition of equipment by DOST.
Aside from abaca, PAGRO is also eyeing to culture orchids and potatoes.
“Maayo man diring mga lugara (referring to the municipalities mentioned above) kay suitable man ang climate para aning mga tanoma ug lagutmon,” Emano said.
“I’m eyeing Sugbongcogon as the orchid capital of the province. Establishing the tissue culture laboratory here would benefit not just the farmers but would trickle down to the whole economy in the municipality,” he added, to the delight of Mayor Mildred Mondigo who also graced the rite.