TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol January 7, 2013 (PIA)—A purplish future awaits the ubi industry here as report of successful propagation technology is now at hand.
At the recent Kapihan sa PIA Thursday, Eleno Evangelista, Provincial Agriculture Agribusiness Division Chief said the recent development in ube-tissue culture signals a good omen in an industry that has struggled to significantly increase local production.
Bohol ubi, or more popularly sold as the aromatic purple yam (kinampay) has always been believed as an annual crop that takes about six months to harvest after seeding, according to agriculture spokesperson Fortunato Cosap.
But, the recent development in tissue culture makes it now possible to grow the crop year round, Cosap continues as he added that ubi has been intricately wrapped around Bohol identity.
Traditionally, ube a vine root-crop is grown from a matchbox-sized tuber slice (guha) of the rootcrop, planted in a small mound (hutok) and staked with a trellis upon which the vine creeps, explained Evangelista at the radio forum on the air.
Then believed to only grow between May to December, the recent ubi-tissue culture can be grown off season, Evangelista pointed out.
In fact, successful tissue culture, which has just been adopted at the Bohol Experimental Station (BES) in Gabi, Ubay, solves not just the problem of low produce due to its being an annual crop, but also the shortage of tuber slices or guha.
Farmers do not usually sell everything they harvest as they have to leave behind enough to be grown for the next year’s cropping.
And with tuber slices, it is still uncertain if the tuber slices grow; they sometimes rot due to presence of contaminants in the soils that does not allow the seedling to survive.
Besides, tissue culture can also brilliantly make farmers determine the quality of their harvest, with the culture a product of experimentation and selection of the best ubi characteristics.
At the upcoming 13th Ubi Festival unfolding this January 23-25, the agribusiness chief lamented that despite a full support shown by the Provincial Government, the industry has remained to perform without any significant improvement.
All through the years, less and less young people opt to be farmers as the job is not as enticing, hinted Cosap who has just been a part of the Bohol aggie family.
But, with the correct nurture, a matchbox sized tuber slice can go as much as 20 kilos of rootcrop after six months, said Evangelista in apparent attempt to convince young farmers to take a second look at the ubi, especially one that presents itself with a purple future. (30/ed)