November 27, 2022

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera in partnership with the Benguet State University-Northern Philippines Root Crops Research and Training Center (BSU-NPRCRTC) trained sweet potato growers in Mankayan, Benguet on how to mass propagate culture-derived sweet potato planting materials through the single node cutting technique.
The training was done as fusarium wilt infestation continues to affect farmers.
Isidro Awal, science research specialist of the BSU-NPRCRTC, said fusarium wilt is a soil-borne fungal disease characterized by the yellowing of the leaves followed by the wilting and discoloration of the vine.
The disease could be managed through planting clean planting materials and fallowing, a technique in which the land is left without sowing for some time for it to recover and disrupt the lifecycles of the organisms that cause the diseases.
Awal said clean planting materials are produced from in-vitro plants, which are transplanted to become mother plants.
This is then multiplied through single node cutting technology. Single node cuttings are pricked in potted media with soil mixed with organic fertilizers that can be found in the locality such as composted alnus leaves and processed animal manure.
The DA has also provided black net, polyethylene plastic sheet, and mapal beds for the nursery in Poblacion, Itogon to accommodate the continuous production of sweet potato quality planting materials in the municipality.
BSU-NPRCRTC provided planting materials of two sweet potato varieties and provided technical assistance in the technology demonstration.
The nursery will be maintained by the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist of Itogon.
The initiative is a transitional strategy of the project, “Support to mass production of quality planting materials through mass propagation and protocols for selected high value crops in CAR.”
The project is in support of DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant, Program, which is geared towards accelerating and increasing production of planting materials for distribution in the region. – Sherry Antonio