Tissue culture lab resumes operation after 17 years

Dhankuta, December 15

A tissue culture lab established at National Orange Species Research Centre in Dhankuta has resumed operation after 17 years.

The lab set up with the aim of producing sour fruits was closed two years after establishment. The lab could not come into operation for 17 years due to lack of manpower, and shortage of equipment and fund to procure chemicals.

Senior scientist at the centre Hari Krishna Shrestha said research work was resumed at the lab with appointment of a JTA. According to Shrestha, they have appointed a technician for operating the lab.

Despite operation of the lab, lack of manpower has hit research on sour fruits hard. It costs Rs 1.5 million to procure a PCR machine necessary for lab. Of late, production and quality of sour fruits have diminished due to citrus greening and pest problems. Shrestha said they had resumed operation of the lab to produce healthy and new plants.

The tissue culture lab has the capacity of producing 1,000 healthy and sour fruit saplings in a year, provided it has the required manpower, necessary chemicals and equipment. Farmer Jitendra Rai of Dhankuta Municipality said operation of the lab at the research centre had given some hope to fruit farmers in the district.