Davao fruit growers fear massive infestation
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (29 July) -- Davao fruit growers expressed apprehension of massive pest infestation especially among Lanzones grown in the farms of the city and its neighboring sitios.
Larry Miculob, vice president of the Mindanao Fruit Industry Development (Minfruit) Council at the Kapehan sa Dabaw held at Café Rysus of SM City Davao said the Lanzones trees were attacked by the pests that caused 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.
"Dahil sa atake ng peste namamatay ang mga kahoy at takot kami baka lumipat ang mga ito sa ibang kahoy like the Durian," he said.
Although he said that other fruit trees are not yet infested and have started to protect these trees as it might move to 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 just 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.
As of this time he said they haven't got the right pest control and the infestation is heavy especially in the Calinan area.
Meanwhile Atty. Antonio Partoza, president of Minfruit said there is not much fruits nowadays especially the Durian and noted a reduction of the yield by 40 percent.
Partoza attributed the decrease in the production with the heavy rainfall that occurred last summer.
He said Durian trees exposed to long dry season would trigger more flashing that will result to flowering and fruiting.
"Pero hindi ito nangyari nung summer kasi mas marami ang ulan," he said.
But amidst the current situation Partoza said they have scheduled the 1st Minfruit Market Encounter so that the small fruit farmers could get to their buyers directly.
He said the event will be held on July 31-August 1, 2008 and will highlight 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 be 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 the buyers will be provided with venue to present their fruit requirements in terms of volume and quality.
The farmers on the other hand will be provided with different market options for their products. The event also aims to fill the supply-demand information gap between buyers and suppliers, he said. (PIA) [top]