SEAMEO BIOTROP formalized its commitment to technically support the District Government of Bantaeng, South Sulawesi for its vision to become the “seedlings district” for the whole Sulawesi island. This took place during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions and the inaugural opening of the district’s tissue culture laboratory on 22 February 2012.
Under the MoU, SEAMEO BIOTROP would assist the district in the identification and micropropagation of high value horticultural crops through tissue culture technique. In fact, the collaboration had already started a year ago when the Centre trained 5 district staff on tissue culture at its headquarter in Bogor and deploying one of its technical staff, Mr. Samsul Yani, to help design and set up the District’s tissue culture laboratory.
According to Prof. Dr. Nurdin Abdullah, Bantaeng District Mayor, the establishment of the tissue culture laboratory and the technical assistance from SEAMEO BIOTROP would help realize the vision of the district which is endowed with fertile soil, conducive climate and adequate rainfall suppy year-round for agricultural production. In the process, these would ensure better quality seedlings, higher productivity, and better incomes in the district in particular and in the province in general. This would also contribute in promoting the district as an agro-tourism destination of the province.
On the other hand, SEAMEO BIOTROP Director, Dr. Bambang Purwantara, said that it is a privilege for the Centre to assist the district towards attaining its vision. The vision is in line with the Centre’s goal on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. In addition, he proposed to further the Centre’s assistance in developing a new course curriculum on horticultural production for the existing vocational school in the district towards producing competent human resources.