In Vitro Plantain Project – Five Million Plantain Plantlets By October

Essimi Menye, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has praised researchers of the Institute for Agronomic Research For Development (IRAD) in Ekona for their expediency in carrying out the FCFA one billion in vitro plantain plantlets project initiated in April, 2013.

The Minister was speaking at IRAD-EKONA last weekend where he ascertained that five of the six project-phases agreed between MINADER and IRAD to produce five million in vitro plantain plantlets have been achieved at 80 per cent. Such included rehabilitating the biotechnological laboratory of IRAD-Ekona, rehabilitating green houses, maintaining and purchasing laboratory equipment, acquiring reagents for the laboratory, and creating seed farms at Ekona and Barombi-Kang.

The lone component of the project remaining four months to its end is the propagation of research results, which entails transferring the know-how from researchers to farmers. This last phase moved Minister Essimi Menye from his Yaounde office to Ekona-Muyuka in Fako Division of the South West Region, 29 May, 2015, where he opened a week-long workshop for some 50 MINADER field staff who will in turn train farmers to put the in vitro technology into use.

The Minister underscored the importance of the project to include abundant, healthy and heavy-yield plantain plantlets for all production basins of Cameroon. He said the plantain project was going to revolutionise agriculture, increase employment, better up diets and boost the economy. Essimi Menye rejoiced that the project had already started employing many hands within the laboratory and would continue through processing and marketing of plantains in Cameroon.

To ensure food sufficiency and extend value chains for agricultural production in Cameroon, MINADER entered a 30-month partnership with the National Institute for Agronomic Research for Development (IRAD) on 17 April, 2013. The Ministry was expected to inject FCFA one billion for IRAD to generate, within 30 months, over five million in vitro plantain plants for massive, industrial and commercial production in Cameroon.

Amayana Adiobo, IRAD’s chief researcher, explained that the handling of the plantlets is not very easy and so people would need special training to be able to move them from the nurseries to farms. This explains why this aspect was being taken care of during the Ekona workshop with the agricultural staff.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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