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Thursday, June 1, 2023

DA NorMin activates QRT to act on fall armyworm infestation

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–The Department of Agriculture (DA)-10 activates its Quick Response Team following a reported infestation of fall armyworm (FAW) in the region.

OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado instructed the team to conduct validation on the extent of FAW infestation in the provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, while continuous surveillance and monitoring of its occurrence in other provinces.

As of June 1 FAW status report of DA-10, an estimated 224 corn farms with a total area of 342.45 hectares in Bukidnon has been infested with FAW, which is still subject for validation.

Through the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) of the Integrated Laboratory Division (ILD) of the agency, provisions of insecticides and biological control agents were given to some affected farmers in Bukidnon.

Ready chemicals in DA-10’s RCPC for the control of FAW infestation is good for 6,300 hectares, based on June 1 inventory.

DA-10’s Regulatory Division, in coordination with the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI), provincial and municipal local government, intensifies pest monitoring and surveillance to affected and non-affected areas.

“FAW is an invasive species causing damage to crops, mostly corn. It is an invasive moth and prefers to eat maize, specifically the sweet corn and open-pollinated (OPV) corn varieties,” said Collado.

In 2019, Collado issued a special order for the composition of DA-10 personnel to compose the Regional Team for the Intensification of Reporting and Surveillance of Fall Armyworm, which outlines proactive responses to possible adverse impact of pest outbreak caused by FAW.

Prior to its infestation, the agency issued an advisory to all local government units (LGUs), alerting them on the possible occurrence of the insect pests.

Indicating its life cycle and damaging characteristics, DA-10 issued pest management recommendations, and the protocol of reporting in cases of pest occurrences and detection.

There is also a continuous provision of technical assistance to LGUs following the FAW management protocol recommended by the DA-BPI for affected and unaffected areas.

Carlota S. Madriaga, regional technical director for operations of the agency said, “DA-10’s long term measures include capacitating farmers on FAW identification, including its farm management, mobilizing communities where farmers are the ‘bantay peste’ in their respective barangays, monitoring, reporting, and early management.”

She also stressed massive information dissemination through multi-media as part of the management strategies.Collado calls for the proactive stand to all LGUs on FAW infestation, to immediately report to its municipal agriculture office or to DA-10 thru its Provincial Operations Center. (DA10/PIA10)

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