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PIA Press Release

Mango sector decries indiscriminate use of insecticides by contractors

Davao City (12 September) -- The mango industry sector of the Davao Region sought the help of the government to control mango contractors of their indiscriminate use of insecticides that affected the entry of the fruit to the international market.

Ednar Dayanghirang, president of the Davao Region Mango Contractors Association (DAREMCA) who was among the panelists during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City yesterday said the misused of chemicals by some mango contractors has already reached an alarming level ..

He said the Japanese partner of Diamond Star Agro Products, Inc., a Philippine exporter, decided not to anymore buy fruits coming from the Davao region.

Recent shipment of mango by Diamond Star to Japan were found out to have contained 0.04 parts per million (ppm) maximum residue level (MRL) for cypermethrin. Allowable MRL set by Japan market on the fruit should only be at 0.03 ppm.

The mangoes came from Catigan, Toril in Davao City, Malungon, Srangani Province, Davao del Sur and Manikling in Davao Oriental.

"The excessive level of cypermethrin was detected at the Kanagawa Laboratory in Japan last August thus compromising our mango exports to Japan," he said.

As this developed, Diamond Star he said voluntarily refrained from buying Japan grade mangoes because of the uncontrollable use of the insecticide.

He said this resulted to lower volumes of few other mango exporters to Japan and has dampen the demand of the Philippine Carabao mangoes that resulted to the lowering of farm gate prices.

But Dayanghirang said the Japan market remains their priority international market because they could fetch higher price of the agri product.

The price of the Davao mango when transported to Manila for shipment to Japan is priced at P62 per kilo compared to the buying price for export to Hongkong at P29 to P30 per kilo.

He also said that the average volume in three weeks time to Hongkong and Japan is 700 tons.

Meanwhile Dayanghirang said that about 70 to 80 percent of mango growers in the region employ services of contractors even as he said that DAREMCA members could only serve less than 20 percent of the fruit growers.

"Definitely with the indiscriminate use of insecticides we are losing our market and we had asked the assistance of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to assist us on this issue," he said.

He said that after writing DILG, they already receive initial information that the agency is willing to assist them.

Ramon Armenio, chief of high value commercial crops (HVCC) of the Department of Agriculture (DA XI) said assistance of the DILG is to intercede for them through the local government unit and down to the barangay level to check on the operation of these contractors in their areas.

He said the contractors will be asked by the barangay official if they have the necessary permit to undertake mango contracting in the area.

"It could be part of their recommendation that the contractors will be asked to present business permits because this is one way of checking who are the culprits behind the indiscriminate use of insecticides," he said.

Armenio also said that most of them employ the cocktail spraying wherein they mix three to four chemicals of pesticides and insecticide and this is more hazardous.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA XI) regional coordinator Estrella Laquinta said the cocktail spraying may no longer be compatible and is dangerous.

She said the reason why some contractors use cocktailing is to save on the cost of labor without realizing that this is not safe.

The cypermethrin. she said is allowed only when the tree starts to flower to control insect hoppers but not on the black ants and they had not recommended any pesticides to control the ants.

She said the common way to control ants must is to cordon the trunk with clothe soak with oil and to also employ good agricultural practice. (PIA XI/pdbanzon) [top]

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