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PIA Press Release
2009/06/04

PCA discovers another ally to fight brontispa

by Venus G. Villanueva

Kalibo, Aklan (4 June) -- The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) here has discovered another ally to fight Brontispa, a coconut tree pest which has caused destruction to coconut trees in some municipalities here.

According to Plevy Raco, PCA Provincial Head, this new ally is called Asecodes, which also thrives in coconuts and feeds on the eggs of the Brontispa.

Raco said much hope is pinned on the Asecodes to solve the Brontispa problem in Aklan, especially in the island of Boracay and nearby towns like Buruanga, Malay and Nabas.

Besides conducting regular chemical treatment of coconuts in Boracay Island, earwigs were also introduced to eradicate Brontispa, but efforts of the PCA, the provincial government of Aklan and the local government of Malay were not so successful because the infestation was not contained in Boracay and managed to reach the mainland.

The infestation in mainland Aklan was attributed to the Brontispa as being a nocturnal insect, which might have managed to cling to the clothes, hair and other parts of the bodies of workers going home from the island daily during the late afternoons when darkness already sets in.

The PCA called on the coconut farmers to be vigilant and help control or eradicate Brontispa in their coconut plantations.

The PCA assured that despite the infestation, Aklan remains to have the densest coconut cover in Western Visayas. The office also revealed that copra, a main product from coconut, still commands a good price in the market.

Raco called on Aklanons to help protect the coconut, considered the "Tree of Life" because of its usefulness from the tip of its leaves down to its roots. (PIA) [top]

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