DAVAO CITY – The Department of Agriculture-XI and the Province of Davao del Norte signed a memorandum of agreement to arrest the destruction of local banana plantations by containing Fusarium Wilt or Panama disease.
The “Management of Banana Fusarium Wilt Project” aims to save the “biggest dollar-earner in the province.”
DA provided P34.28 million intended for the eradication of the disease in infected farms, conduct of trainings on good agricultural practices on banana, as well as, the production of Trichoderma harzianum, as an effective bio-control anti-fungal agent.
DA Regional Director Remelyn Recoter said “time is of the essence for the Davao region’s billion-dollar industry.”
Fusarium wilt is a fungal pathogen that attacks the vascular system of the banana, preventing it from picking up water.
The resurgence of the fungal disease, which has been dormant for the past 50 years, threatened to wipe out plantations and endangered the biggest export of the Davao region.
Provincial Governor Rodolfo del Rosario said the fungus “posed a serious threat to the livelihood of thousands of Dabaonons and the food security of the province.”
Davao del Norte is known as the Banana Capital with around 50,000 hectares allotted for the cultivation of Cavendish banana for export.(davaotoday.com)