DOST-FPRDI develops competent rubber farmers, tappers, and trainers
LAST MONTH, a group of high school students in Zamboanga Sibugay started learning how to grow, plant, and harvest the sap of rubber trees: the most important crop in their province.
The task of teaching the rubber production course may seem daunting, but teacher Elsa Vendiola is confident she will be able to teach the subject well, thanks to a recent training she attended. Organized by the DOSTForest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI), the training was designed to teach four competencies: establish a rubber budwood and seedlings nursery, plant rubber trees and seedlings, do a budding operation, and harvest latex. “From the course, I learned not only concepts but skills I could pass on not only to my students but even to my peers in school,” explains Vendiola.
For Esmeraldo Hanito of the University of Southern Mindanao, the training made
Prof. Angelito Aballe (center) discusses the correct harvesting of rubber latex. Tappers make a cut in the trunk to collect the sap (called latex) and let the tree live on.
The quality and speed in tapping are evaluated during the training.