NATION

Members Of Orchid Cluster Receive Grafting, Marcotting Training

A group of florists from the Orchid Cluster in Labasa were assisted by the Minis­try of Agriculture in their grafting and marcotting training on Thurs­day.
30 Jul 2022 19:04
Members Of Orchid Cluster Receive Grafting, Marcotting Training
Senior Technical Assistant Officer for Seaqaqa Research Station, Usenio Akuila, (third from left) demonstrates the cleft grafting technique to members of the Orchid Cluster group in Wailevu Solove in Labasa. Photo: Sampras Anand

A group of florists from the Orchid Cluster in Labasa were assisted by the Minis­try of Agriculture in their grafting and marcotting training on Thurs­day.

These 14 members are from dif­ferent areas in Labasa: Vunika, Vunivau, Labasa Town, Delaila­basa and Wailevu Solove.

The training was held at Wailevu Solove at florist Asheem Khan’s residence.

Cluster president, Visha Naicker, said the training was requested by their members and a proposal was sent to the ministry.

Ms Naicker said the training act­ed as a refresher to add to their ba­sic grafting and marcotting knowl­edge.

The training is meant to enhance their ability to carry out graft­ing on plants and hybridise these plants for better production.

“This was the best practical train­ing on grafting I ever had and we were able to understand the basic steps involved with cleft grafting,” she said.

The assistance was part of the Women in Agriculture Initiative.

Seaqaqa Research Station senior technical assistant officer, Use­nio Akuila, said training like this would fine-tune trainees in under­standing the full art of grafting.

Mr Akuila said the most essen­tial part of grafting a rootstock is to identify a mature signwood (the grafted portion).

Through grafting, they were able to maintain a healthy production and population of Bitiri Citrus be­tween 30-40 years of age.

“Pruning of shoots from the root­stock is vital in ensuring the sign­wood receives an abundant supply of plant food,” he said.

Another florist, Asheem Khan, be­lieves the diversification of plants, fruit trees, and spices plants en­sured they were competitive in the floriculture industry.

His side business had earned him a reasonable income despite the adversities caused by the COV­ID-19 pandemic.

“I recently sold $2000 worth of mahogany plants and 600 sandal­wood plants and I am diversifying my business,” he said.

Agricultural assistant officer Macuata/Wailevu field officer, Ya­meniasi Rovabakola, said floricul­ture was no longer for personal beautification purposes only, but for commercial means now.

Ms Rovabakola added they had previously assisted flori­culture groups in Labasa and there were six active floricul­ture groups present in Labasa.

Feedback: sampras.anand@fijisun.com.fj



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