Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

DA-11 cites LGUs for controlling the spread of Fusarium disease

Author: DA-AFID | 3 February 2017

To save one of the country’s top commodities, stabilize income and livelihood in the Southern provinces of the country, and continue to penetrate the international markets, the Department of Agriculture (DA), particularly the Regional Field Unit in Region 11, presses on with its strategies to contain banana pests and diseases including the dreaded Fusarium Wilt.

Among DA-11’s game plan is a rewards system to encourage local government units to implement policies and measures that will ensure the prevention of the said disease.

In line with this, the regional office has rewarded the provincial governments of Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental for their efforts that ultimately quelled the spread of banana Fusarium Wilt within the region.

Fusarium Wilt, also known as Panama disease, is a soil borne fungus which causes the wilting of banana plants. In 2013, DA-11 has identified at least 701,480 infected mats in the region prompting the agency and banana stakeholders to implement quarantine measures and interventions to save one of the country’s leading dollar-earning industry.

As a rewards system for local government units (LGU) that effectively implement quarantine control strategies such as installation of foot and vehicle vats along entry points, issuance of local ordinance, disease eradication activities, and information drive, the DA-11 conducted the Search for the Best-Managed Fusarium-Infected Farm.

The Search was comprised of two categories. Category I, open to LGUS with more than 1,000 hectares of infected farmlands and Category II, for those with less than 1,000 hectares of infected areas.

Davao del Norte was awarded P1.745-million as cash prize under Category I.

Of the said amount P1-million will go to the provincial LGU while the municipal LGU of Sto. Tomas and the barangay LGU of La Libertad will receive P445,000 and P300,000, respectively.

Under Category II, the province of Davao Oriental received a total of P1.25-million.

Out of the total cash prize P650-thousand will go to the provincial LGU P400-thousand to the muncipal LGU of San Isidro, and P230-thousand. to its covered barangay of La Union.

“This awarding ceremony is a manifestation of the effective collaboration of DA and the LGUs as well as our attached agencies in addressing the need of our banana industry,” DA-XI OIC-Regional Director Ricardo Oñate, Jr. said.

Oñate further stressed the key role of the LGUs in keeping the incidence of banana Fusarium Wilt at bay.

University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) President Lourdes Generalao lauded DA’s efforts of engaging the LGUs in managing banana fusarium wilt.

Generalao who is also a plant pathologist said the best way to manage the disease is through the strong will of the LGUs and their eagerness to reach even the remotest area.

Davao del Norte provincial agriculturist Anastacia Notarte speaking in behalf of the awardees noted that “the cash prize will be invested in the enhancing their tissue culture laboratory to provide more quality and disease-free seedlings to small banana farmers in the province.” (Noel T. Provido/DA-XI)

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