Centre conducted a webinar on “Export Promotion of Tissue Culture Plants such as Foliage, Live Plants, Cut Flowers, and Planting Material”.
- This webinar was conducted by Centre through the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
- Department of Biotechnology (DBT) accredited tissue culture laboratories spread across India were the participants.
What is ‘plant tissue culture’?
- Plant tissue culture is a novel and innovative technique to grow high-quality, disease-free plants quickly and in a large quantity.
- This is done by culturing and maintaining plant cells or organs like leaves, stem, root, etc. in sterile, nutritionally and environmentally supportive conditions in vitro.
- This technique is especially useful when the planting material is scarce or on the edge of extinction as thousands of plants can be produced from a single selected plant.
Key Highlights –
- India’s exports of tissue culture plants – The top ten countries importing tissue culture plants from India are: Netherlands, USA, Italy, Australia, Canada, Japan, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia and Nepal.
- In 2020-2021, India’s exports of tissue culture plants stood at US$17.17 million, with the Netherlands accounting for around 50% of the shipments.
Suggestions received –
- The participating exporters suggested that APEDA should organise an international exhibition in India.
- This is to showcase the various kinds of flora such as tissue cultured plants, forest plants, etc. available in India.
- They have also suggested that APEDA take the lead in sending a trade delegation abroad to identify new markets for tissue culture plants from India.
Applications of Plant Tissue Cultures –
- The most important application of plant tissue cultures is the production of pharmaceutical, medicinal and other industrially important compounds.
- Other useful purposes are –
- To study the respiration and metabolism of plants.
- For the evaluation of organ functions in plants.
- To study the various plant diseases and work out methods-for their elimination.
- Single cell clones are useful for genetic, morphological and pathological studies
Plant tissue culture in India –
- GoI established the “National Certification System for Tissue Culture Raised Plants (NCS-TCP)” for ensuring production and distribution of quality tissue culture planting materials. So far, more than 80 million tissue culture plants have been certified through this system.
- Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is running a Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) to help laboratories upgrade themselves so as to produce export quality tissue culture planting material.