Bringing down cost of production has obvious relevance and needs no elaboration. That, however, is not an end in itself. It provides a very firm foundation indeed. However, further building will take shape only on the basis of quality production by the producer of plants and high quality nutritional and field management - Precision Agriculture - by the user of the plants.
Our projections on quality control aspects and views on necessity of precision agriculture of micropropagated plants deserve special attention to ensure success.
High stakes are involved in global trade of micropropagated plants
However, there is a large amount of mistrust in this field
Reliability of fulfillment of commitment on supply, cost of the plants and quality of the plants supplied are major bones of contentions. All of these are effectively dealt with in our approach.
Efficiency of our model will make prices remunerative to producers as well as buyers of plants.
Quality control methods will solve rest of the two problems.
Good control in quality will automatically result, among other advantages, in avoiding unanticipated production losses at critical time arising from chronic contamination. This will bring in reliability in achieving committed production and supply.
The quality tests as enumerated by us are testable at / before the time of supply and since they are related to inherent properties of plants, producers as well as customers will find them as reasonable basis for determining quality of plants. This will provide a sound and stable basis for global trade, will cultivate long lasting quality business relationships, which will give global stability to this business.
Although ornamentals were the first plant species to which commercial applications have taken a precedence, agricultural crop species are the real target for application of plant tissue culture.
Professionally also, market for ornamentals is limited. With emergence of more and more of commercial micropropagation units and improvement in their efffciency, the finite market will get saturated sooner or later, generating intense competition. The real firm foundation of market lies in agricultural crop species.
In agricultural crop species, yields are stagnating far below achievable maximum. Here is a place where there is a vast scope for application of plant tissue culture and need is evident.
Market volume is enormous. Presuming that it gets stimulated, it will sustain countless micropropagation companies if average farmers adopt tissue cultured plants as planting material.
Developing countries have become aware of importance of hi-tech applications to their agricultural crops. The problem of unaffordable price is circumvented effectively by our model of commercial micropropagation.
There can never be a better time than this for venturing into this area in a big way.
All this potential will be unlocked only if dramatic benefit to average farmers is clearly seen. Plant Tissue Culture undoubtedly has that potential. But indiscreet implementation will not help in achieving the desired results. With long experience in application of this technology, we have arrived at clear picture on the approach that needs to be taken for ensuring success.
Optimal implementation of Plant Tissue culture for Agricultural crops:
Plant tissue culture is known for its ability to bridge vast gap between practically achieved and theoretically achievable maximum yields. It is realization of this potential in practice, which should be the aim of application of this technology.
To reach to above target, a deep understanding on causes for this gap / yield barriers which defy solution by conventional research / management so far, need to be understood.
This should be followed by devising use of tissue culture techniques to overcome these barriers successfully.
If your exploration shows that yield improvement is possible only to the tune of 10-15 %, re-examine your approach from beginning, as this will mean far below capacity utilization of a powerful and potent technology.
Once concepts on above points are clear and applications evolved in that light, you are ready with the basic tool for commercial implementation of Plant Tissue Culture Technology for that crop
Mannner in which the basic tool is used is next most important factor.
High yield potential obviously needs much higher level of agricultural management than used for conventional farming. This is the most vulnerable point. If carried out properly, it has no alternative but to lead to achievement of yields vastly higher than achieved so far with conventional planting material. In other words, with switching over to use of planting material developed from tissue culture, necessarily one must switch to precision agriculture in place of usual average management.
This very obvious need, however, is easily forgotten / ignored / given less importance due to a very commonly occuring, misleading, a generally prevelent "genotype centric approach" that yields automatically improve as soon as better yielding genotypes are introduced. This did happen in the past with introduction of hybrid seeds, because lands were underexploited and highly fertile that time. This is not so now after the fertility degradation that followed wrongful use of unbalanced fertilizers and irrigation water to exploit the high yield potential of those improved genotypes. The yields from same hybrids have now already petered out. Now, whether it is use of hybridization technology or micropropagation technology, it is necessary to know a comprehensive information on fertility status of the farm in question and monitor it closely to ensure proper availability of nutrients. Plant Tissue Culture should not be viewed as a tool to circumvent this imperative but to achieve better rewards than conventional planting material in a crusade to achieve maximum theoretical yields.
When it comes to Precision Agriculture, it is now being increasingly realised that classical "Research Station" approach is not useful. Research Stations give average solutions for targetting average yields, and that is not the target in implimentation of tissue culture.. Precision Agriculture involves very deep understanding of interactions of several yield influencing environmental factors operative in field. Thus, this involves dealing with not an average situation, but a very dynamic situation which changes from field to field and season to season and it involves the average farmer himself. Thus, field implimentation of tissue culture technology should necessarily go through extension education and "farmers' Participation in R&D" model.
This is, by no means, as difficult as it appears on the face of it. With farmers beginning on experimental scale, in interaction with competent scientists, they will soon pick up the concepts and practices of precision agriculture.
Incidentally, in the light of alarming situation of rapidly degrading soil fertiltiy status world over, whether tissue culture or no tissue culture, there is no alternative for survival of agricultural economy than to switch on to precison agriculture. Better sooner than later. And better in conjunction with use of superior yield potential of tissue culture derived planting material than the conventional one.
We have a long standing field experience and have developed an insight into these aspects. Our insight can be useful for your plans of application of plant tissue culture to agricultural crops, irrespective of whether you are a farmer, a commercial micropropagation company or a Government Institution or a NGO.
We also have a concept on developing large scale plantations of your own which will serve as R&D / demonstration / training farms for farmers, which would be useful for commercial micropropagation companies or big land owners. It is obvious that such farms will be useful in faster popularization of use of micropropagated plants amongst average farmers i.e. in achieving spontaneous generation of high volume demand.
IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM, GLOBAL COMPETION IN AGRICULTUAL PRODUCE IS INEVITABLE..
WHETHER CONVENTIONAL OR TISSUE CULTURE FARMING,
PAINS OF UNDERSTANDING AND PRACTICING PRECISION AGRICULTURE ARE UNAVOIDABLE.
Take benefit of our vast field experience
for overcoming this last barrier
in large scale application of
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