SANDAKAN: A new ginger breeding technology using tissue culture may solve Sabah’s high ginger demand of 24,000 kilograms a month.
The new breeding technology, introduced during the Agricultural Research Station (ARS) Golden Jubilee Open House at Ulu Dusun, here, yesterday, uses in-vitro technology to produce 500 plantlets from one ginger plant in six months.
“The tissue culture protocol for ginger breeding can overcome quality ginger food shortages and (it’s) free from rhizome rot,” said Sabah Agriculture director Datuk M.C Ismail Salam, adding that the crop is widely bred in Tambunan and Keningau.
Also introduced at the open house yesterday was Tacunan Coconut or scientifically known as Tacunan Green Dward (TACD).
“TACD is low in height and it produces larger than average fruits quickly,” Ismail said.
He added that a fully grown TACD fruit would weigh at around 250 grams and has low production costs compared to coconut hybrids because it is bred in an isolated seed garden without the production costs of pollen, emasculation and assisted pollination.
Meanwhile, Sabah Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Datuk Yahya Hussin said new technologies and quality planting materials produced by ARS has a significant impact on Sabah’s socio-economy.
“I hope this research station will continue to play its role and develop and introduce crop technologies and produce quality crop supply,” said Yahya, who is also Sabah Deputy Chief Minister.
Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman who officiated the event, said in any industry, research and development was important for both domestic consumption and the international market.
“The state government is always emphasising on boosting the state economy, especially in agriculture.
“This effort is in line with the development and progress direction of Sabah and the Government Transformation Program,” said Musa.
Over RM300 million is allocated to Sabah agricultural agencies for 2013.
The Jubilee featured choir presentations and an exhibition on Sabah’s agriculture in conjunction with ARS’s 50th anniversary.
Source : Borneo Post