Only MRI can verify RRIM3001 clone, says Elli

PROVEN QUALITY: Elli says the seed banks from his farm are among the few nurseries in the state which have RRIM3001/ 1Malaysia seeds.

KUCHING: The 1Malaysia clonal rubber seeds need not be certified by Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) as the Malaysian Rubber Institute (MRI) is the only authority which can verify the clone because it has the experts and technology to verify its pedigree.

This was disclosed by DLT Group of Companies chairman Dr Elli Luhat in response to a statement by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu on Thursday that the RRIM3001/1Malaysia had not been approved by RRIM.

“However, LGM has yet to commercialise the technology thus I doubt any other organisation can do that,” Elli said yesterday.

Jabu, also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, also called on farmers to double check with the Ministry, RRIM and the LGM for proper authenticity of the rubber plants or otherwise they could end up planting inferior breeds of rubber trees.

Elli added that the seed banks from his farm were among the few nurseries in the state which have RRIM3001/ 1Malaysia seeds.

According to Elli, RRIM did not have to approve the clonal rubber seeds because these were already available throughout the country.

“These seeds are the ones that have been used to produce rootstocks for cloned planting materials, such as the 1Malaysia clone. As for the buds of 1Malaysia clone, RRIM, some private nurseries and DLT nursery have them but in limited quantity,” he said.

On a related matter, he said the 1Malaysia clone rubber trees had been proven to produce much higher latex yield than any other existing clones.

What farmers have to do is to plant the clonal seeds, then come back to DLT when the seedlings are about four months old to get the buds grafted onto their seedlings. The buds are sourced from DLT’s own farm or the LGM.

According to Elli, his intention was to promote the 1Malaysia rubber variety so that farmers in the state could benefit from its high yield of good quality latex.

“All high yielding rubber clones in DLT bush nursery were purchased from LGM research station in Samalaju Bintulu and the symbolic planting of those clones (in DLT Institute in Kuching) was officially done by the Director General of LGM (Datuk Dr Salmiah Ahmad) herself and witnessed by members of the LGM board early last year,” he said.

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