By SENIORL ANZU
The plant tissue culture technique and biotechnology play an important role in crop improvement for healthy materials made available to farmers and other stakeholders. Such developments are part of National Agriculture Research Institute’s ongoing research and development initiatives in which through its crop improvement programme, the Institute develops disease free and healthy planting materials, readily made available which can be cultivated for some generations with improved yields without major impacts of common pests and diseases.
The technology also provides mass propagation of superior cultivars of food crops using the in-vitro technique, germplasm conservation and molecular crop research. Such work is facilitated at Aiyura in Eastern Highlands and Keravat in
Some of the common food crops cultured locally are potato, sweet potato, taro, cassava, yam, broccoli and vanilla.
Pictured is Niligur Rangan, a NARI research associate at Keravat culturing a banana crop at the NARI Keravat laboratory.