Ilocos Norte government implements garlic tissue culture

ILOCOS NORTE – Three garlic producing towns were given assistance by the provincial government here to produce healthier and bigger garlic crops by implementing tissue culture.

Provincial Agricultural Officer Imelda Adalem said three farms each from the towns of Burgos and Pasuquin, and the City of Batac received assistance in applying this technique to their garlic crops.

Adalem said the crops planted in Burgos show the most vitality. University of the Philippines, Los Baños scientist, Prof. Lilia F. Pateña, however, recommended the establishment of a greenhouse for better tissue culture in Pasuquin and Batac City as the climate is hotter in  these areas which is unconducive to garlic production.

Meanwhile, two farmers from Burgos, Gil Briones and Ronald Garalde, were recognized by the UPLB scientists for their outstanding transplant in their respective fields that resulted to the production of bigger crops. Oscar Bugawisan of Pasuquin also had a higher field survival rate of tissue culture bulblets compared to other farmer recipients from Pasuquin and Batac City.

Garlic crops, Adalem explained, thrive in cooler climate and in easily drained soil. They are expected to be ready for harvesting by the last week of February or March.

In her last State of the Province Address, Governor Imee Marcos had expressed the need for improvement of Ilocos garlic: “Itaguyod ang produktong sinauna—gulay, lasuna, at higit sa lahat: bawang. National demand for garlic is at an all- time high, but over 90% is imported. Dapat dagdagan ang tanim na 6% dito sa ating probinsia.”

The provincial government’s  commitment to enhancing the productivity and sustainability of Ilocos Norte’s agriculture sector was amplified in November 2015 with the launching of its flagship program “Paspas Dur-as Biag ti Away!” (rapid development for rural areas). The PAO had conducted a three-day agricultural training then on product development and good manufacturing practices.

Aside from boosting the agricultural economy, bawang has also been at the center of recently-established tourist attractions like the Darat Garlic Center and the Garlic Farmers Monument in Pinili. – (With report from Mizpah Grace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO)