On May 17-18, 2016, Filipino agriculturist and researcher Niña Reginaldo Rosales delivers a talk on “Technical, Business Issues and Challenges of Fruit-Vegetable (Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae) Grafting in the Philippines.”
After several years of working on fruit-vegetable grafting way back in our Peri-urban Project in 1998-2003 as a Research Assistant then, my knowledge on grafting technology was very narrow and concentrated only on tomato and eggplant. When PCAARRD called to submit research proposals, I did grab the opportunity and was able to lead a project on grafting of cucurbits and other solanaceous crops aside from tomato in 2012 to 2015. Promotion of grafting technology in the Philippines is really a big challenge, and because of this workshop, I was given an opportunity to share our work and experiences to other Asian experts and learn from them as well. The workshop program consisted of seven papers presented during the plenary sessions and six papers for country report sessions divided in two days. On the first day, there was a short opening program prior to the first plenary session wherein overviews on the technical application, economic benefits and status of grafting of solanaceous vegetables in Taiwan and the status of vegetable transplants and grafting technology in Korea were discussed. I was amazed at how countries like Taiwan and Korea took-off in the promotion and made some innovations in grafting technology as well as Korea. The second day was also an awaited day for every participant when topics on grafting mechanization was explained during the second plenary session by the experts from TDARES and the National Ylan University in Taiwan. It was also a breakthrough on grafting technology adoption of how the expert from Vietnam told his success story using the technology. For a country like the Philippines where grafting technology adoption is still low, Vietnam’s story was really an inspiration.
The third day was a study tour to different seedling nurseries in Taiwan which I enjoyed very much. I’m expecting to see robots doing the grafting procedure but surprisingly they brought us to nurseries with highly-skilled workers who work like robots. My attention was caught by their modified healing chambers that could contain thousands of grafted seedlings that were commercially sold to local farmers. How I wish I could do that in my country through our institution as one of the pioneers in the promotion of grafting technology.
Niña Reginaldo Rosales
Bureau of Plant Industry