By Emmanuel T. Erediano

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, July 31) – After seeing how the people in a small city south of Taiwan prosper through their own natural resources, agriculture consultant Isidoro T. Cabrera is now looking at the potential of similar crops that the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has in abundance — like mulberry, for example.

Cabrera was among those who accompanied Saipan Mayor Juan B. Tudela to Taiwan for the signing of friendly cities agreement between Hualien City and Saipan.

Since the city has a climate similar to that of the CNMI, Cabrera said he saw some crops there that CNMI can also produce.

Hualien City Mayor Chi Ta-Tsai toured the Saipan delegates to the Hualien agriculture experiment and extension farm and laboratories where they saw a demonstration of agricultural technologies that the CNMI can also use.

Cabrera said Saipan can produce mulberry which can be made into jam, juice and wine.

In an interview on Friday, Cabrera said they were given the chance to witness how mulberry jam is made.

"It is the same mulberries that we have in abundance here in CNMI, and those people in Hualien City are making good business out of it," Cabrera noted.

Food scientists from South Korea are coming next month, Cabrera said, and it will be the best time for them to explore the potentials of local fruits and other agricultural products for export.

He added that Northern Marianas College’s Cooperative Research Education and Extension Services will soon implement a tissue culture program, which is a means of propagating a plant for mass production of certain agricultural products.

This technology, he said, can be used to propagate local mulberry plants and start the production of jam and other export products.

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