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  • Writer's pictureGuru Press Staff

Benguet farmers given training to fight fungal infestation in sweet potato farm

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

La Trinidad, Benguet – Benguet farmers affected by the infestation of fusarium wilt, a common fungal disease in plants, were given training on how to propagate tissue-cultured camote planting materials through Single Node Cutting (SNC) technique as a way to combat the fungus.

BSU-NPRCRTC Science Research Specialist Mr. Isidro Awal explained that “fusarium wilt is a soil-borne fungal disease characterized by the yellowing of the leaves followed by the wilting (brown to purple discoloration) of the vine stem.”

He said the disease can be controlled using sweet potato’s clean planting materials which were cultivated “in vitro” – or cut parts of the plant that are removed under sterile conditions and cultivated on a suitable nutrient medium before transplanting them to the soil.

He added that the soil must be left untilled for some time to give it time to regain nutrients and to disrupt the lifecycles of the organism that causes fusarium wilt.

Awal said the in-vitro plants then transplanted to become mother plants and, with the use of single-node cutting technique, it can be multiplied rapidly. He said, “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 training was conducted by the Department of Agriculture – Cordillera in partnership with the Benguet State University-Northern Philippines Root Crops Research and Training Center (BSU-NPRCRTC) in support to farmers who lost income after fusarium wilt wiped out their sweet potato plants.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Belen Baguitan, a farmer who participated in the training, expressed her gratitude for the given training.

“Manyaman kami sin naadal mi tan sin nay kinabakes ko, kanak en ammok et di manmula si togi. Mabalin baw ay maimula di uray ap-aptik ay getang na,” (We are thankful for the learnings we gained from the training. We learned that a single node cutting could grow,) she stressed.

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