DAR Negros Occidental (PNA file image)

BACOLOD CITY – An agrarian reform beneficiaries organization (ARBO) in Murcia, Negros Occidental has been selected by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to engage in a plant tissue culture to increase farm productivity and income.

The Villa Carolina Integrated Organic Farmers Association, based in Barangay San Miguel, is being assisted by DAR Negros Occidental-I (North) in establishing a tissue culture laboratory with a greenhouse facility, which costs PHP7.067 million.

The group has been pre-selected to receive the greenhouse facility, a project under the Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARC) program funded by the Agrarian Reform Fund, said Aisah May Ardiente, OIC chief agrarian reform program officer of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division.

“This will help them expand their livelihood activities and generate more income through the enterprise-based crop nursery project,” she added.

The initiative, which is a collaboration between the DAR and Negros Occidental’s provincial government, was formalized through a memorandum of agreement signed between Governor Eugenio Lacson and DAR 6 (Western Visayas) Director Sheila Enciso last December.

A technological breakthrough in the propagation of plants, the tissue culture project would bring rapid production of high-quality and uniform planting materials that could be multiplied on a year-round basis under disease-free conditions anywhere, regardless of the season and weather.

This would lead to higher annual yield for the recipient ARBO and increased farm productivity and income for the ARBs.

The DAR, through the SuRe ARC program, would provide the ARBs access to quality seedlings and ensure the production of improved crop varieties and better quality of plant materials.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer I Edwin Mendame Jr. said through the tissue culture technology and the opportunities it would bring, the younger generation would be encouraged to engage in farming. (PNA)