DA-11 strengthens Panama disease management, allots P102-M budget

February 5, 2015 6:43 am 

DAVAO CITY, Feb. 4 — The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 11 has allotted a total of P102 million budget to combat Fusariumwilt or Panama disease for this year.

Fusariumwilt, a destructive fungal disease of banana plants can be described as a “classic” vascular wilt disease and it invades the vascular tissue (xylem) through the roots, causing discoloration and wilting.

“Like any other diseases, early detection and adequate knowledge is our best defense,” DA regional director Remelyn Recoter said and urged banana farmers, local government units, and private sector to partner with her office in implementing regulatory measures to combat the dreaded diseases.

Recoter said that of the P1.4-billion budget of DA-11 for 2015, High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) wherein Fusariumwilt management is included got the highest allocation with P250.7 million.

Melani Provido, HVCDP coordinator said that the program for Fusariumwilt management is the revitalization of initiatives done in the previous years.

“In 2013, we are given P20 million for this project and just this year they added more fund to Fusarium which increased the over-all budget for HVCDP climb to 300 percent,” Provido said.

In 2014, the HVCDP budget was P77.8 million and Fusarium wilt management was not included.

She added that due to the demand for appropriate interventions on such disease control and management, regulatory measures, and information dissemination, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala prioritized the program to eradicate if not minimize the spread of the disease.

Provido added that the areas identified to be severely damaged by Fusarium were Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley Province and Davao del Sur but stressed that with immediate interventions disease can be managed.

“There were only few cases in Davao City and in Davao Oriental but rest assured that they will be given a budget for Fusariumwilt eradication,” she said.

The Fusariumwilt Management is composed of five components namely; production support, eradication, trichoderma distribution, information campaign and training. (PNA)

LAP/LCM/CHERRY MAE D. PALICTE/LDP

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