Davao fruit growers fear massive infestation

Aug. 04, 2008

Davao City-Fruit growers expressed apprehension over massive pest infestation especially among lanzones grown in the farms within the city.

Larry Miculob, vice president of the Mindanao fruit industry development (Minfruit) council, at the Kapehan sa Dabaw held at Caf Rysus in SM city Davao, said the lanzones trees were attacked by the pests, which caused an 80 percent reduction of the yield this year.

Miculob said they were informed by fellow farmers in Kidapawan City and Makilala that their trees were heavy with the scale insects since last year.

“Pests have killed the lanzones trees and we are afraid that they may now transfer to durian,” Miculob said.

Although he said that other fruit trees are not yet infested, they have started to protect these trees as a precautionary measure to prevent the pests from attacking the other fruit-bearing trees.

Miculob said they already asked the assistance of the Bureau of Plant Industry and were advised that they need to spray insecticide aside from trying different techniques to control the pests.

He also said that the pests are transmitted through air.

The pests he said suck the juice of the leaves and lay their eggs in it.

Miculob admitted that, as of this time, they still haven’t found the right pest control and the infestation is heavy especially in the Calinan area.

Meanwhile Minfruit president atty. Antonio Partoza said there durian production decreased by as much as 40 percent as a result of the heavy rainfall that occurred last summer.

He said durian trees exposed to long dry season would bear more flowers and then fruits. “However, this didn’t happen this summer because of the heavier rainfall.”

Still, amidst the current situation, Partoza said they have scheduled the first Minfruit market encounter so that the small fruit farmers could get to their buyers directly. The event was held on July 31-August 1, 2008 and was highlighted by market matching between suppliers (Mindanao growers) and buyers (processors, exporters and consolidators).

Partoza said the council noted that small fruit producers do not know who and where to bring their produce that is why they remain as mere producers.

“We wanted them to upgrade their status of not just fruit growers but become entrepreneurs as well,” he said.

He said this will make them aware of the kind of products that the markets need, thus improving also their quality of production.

He also said that during the two-day event, buyers were provided with a venue to present their fruit requirements in terms of volume and quality.

The farmers on the other hand were provided with different market options for their products. The event also aims to fill the supply-demand information gap between buyers and suppliers, Partoza said. (PIA)


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