The work of Biotec Limited as being the first business to offer disease free high quality planting materials has been commended by the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, National Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Inia Seruiratu.
While touring Biotec earlier this week and observing the work conducted by the company in providing disease free quality planting materials through commercial tissue culture operations, Minister Seruiratu commended their work as being important to the agriculture sector.
“I am interested in the work of Biotec Limited as these are the things the Ministry can outsource to private sectors, and we can discuss how we can take it to the next level,” said Seruiratu.
He recommended that the company collaborate with Government through the Ministry of Agriculture to advance the local agriculture sector.
Biotec Limited Director, Jerome Kado said the shortage of healthy planting materials was the main drawback for increasing production for food security and income generation.
Kado elaborated that they were in partnership with the Market Development Facility to develop its technical capacity (laboratory and nursery) towards commercial production and promotion of tissue cultured planting materials via demonstration plots, farmer field days and disaster rehabilitation as they aimed to supply clean and high quality planting materials to enable consistent production in terms of high yielding crops that could meet the quality required for exports.
They have a total of 200,000 taro plantlets which they had named Joshua taro, with some banana, ginger, breadfruits and yaqona in the laboratory.
Kado also thanked the Ministry of Agriculture for their support in providing duty concession.
Biotec Limited scientist, Eliki Lesione said their products were mainly confined to plants that may be difficult to propagate using seeds, stating “we mainly focus on exportable crops like Tausala ni Samoa dalo variety, cavendish banana, tumeric and others based on demand by the customer.”
He added that they were still testing a new concept which had been generating more interest from exporters and farmers.
Biotec Limited’s current focus is supplying tissue cultured planting materials to exporters of fresh dalo, ginger and banana in Fiji.
“We are still working on increasing our stock to a level to meet the great demand so we can be able to supply all year round with any volume by any exporter or even by the Ministry of Agriculture,” said Lesione.
Biotec Limited is the first business in the South Pacific to offer disease free high quality planting materials through commercial tissue culture operations.