By Estrella Z. Gallardo
A total of 21 participants from various agencies and rubber owners from different regions attended the training-workshop on “Rubber Production and Latex Harvesting for Improved Philippine Rubber”.
The training was conducted by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) to ensure stability of the rubber tree.
Rubber is a vital agricultural commodity and an important component of modern society, which can be used for healthcare, construction, and manufacturing products, among others. However, there are problems confronting the rubber industry such as lack of quality planting materials, poor tapping practices, and low annual productivity.
The growing interest for rubber and rubber-based products can lead to unsustainable practices like “over tapping” or overharvesting of latex.
Topics from establishment of rubber seedlings nursery to proper latex harvesting techniques were discussed to provide the participants with knowledge and skills in rubber production.
Dr. Maria Cielito Siladan of the DOST- Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) served as the overall facilitator of the training-workshop while Prof. Angelito Aballe, a TESDA accredited expert from Zamboanga Sibugay, served as the lead trainer.
The five-day training was designed to enhance skills of participants through classroom lecture/discussion, hands-on demonstration and practice, and skills assessment to simulate an actual assessment for Rubber Production NC II accreditation.
According to Ms. Loreta Ylagan, a participant and rubber farm owner from Oriental Mindoro, the training-workshop was very helpful to them because they obtained new knowledge on how to perform budding operation.
Ms. Ylagan really appreciated the course, especially the trainers and facilitators of the event. “Gusto ko na agad bumalik sa amin para ma-apply lahat ng natutunan ko (I already want to go home in our province so I can apply everything that I’ve learned),” she shared.
Participants from the academe also appreciated the training course, especially on proper tapping techniques on rubber trees.
Falling under DOST-PCAARRD’s capability building and R&D governance banner program, the training-workshop was held to equip participants with knowledge on the essentials of rubber production and latex harvesting. (PPCI)