Fusarium wilt spread in Davao region could worsen: DA
This early, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the Davao Region is worried that spread of the Fusarium wilt in banana farms in the area could worsen when the rainy season comes after June.
“We are apprehensive when the wet season sits in by mid of this year,” Virgilio Gutierrez, science research specialist of the DA-11, was quoted by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) as saying.
Fusarium wilt, a soil-borne disease, is transmitted faster during heavy rains.
A La Nina phenomenon, which brings heavy rains and floods, is expected to follow after the El Nino dissipates by the end of July.
The PNA said DA-Region 11 reported that the areas affected by Fusarium Wilt has reached 15,500 hectares. Some 701,000 mother plants and suckers in the region were found to be infected after geotagging was done in 2013.
“We fear that the number would increase given that owners of some small banana farms won’t allow assessment of the area on the presence of the disease. And with the onset of the rainy season there is no stopping of the spread to other areas,” Gutierrez told the PNA.
The DA has allocated P102.1 million to address the banana plant disease. The amount is broken down as: P34.2 million for Davao del Norte; P15.4 million for Compostela Valley; P5.1 million for Davao del Sur; and P1.3 million for Davao Oriental.
A separate budget of P5.1 million is given to Davao City.
The funds will be used for the eradication of the disease, crop shifting, good agricultural practices, and information and education, among others.