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DA-Central Luzon steps up measures vs. fall armyworm

Govt. Philippines
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By Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga -- The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 3 (DA RFO 3) is recommending strengthening of pest surveillance and management activities to deal with the threat of fall armyworm (FAW).

Based on the report of DA-Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC), 12 sightings were verified with fall armyworm infestation in Central Luzon, particularly in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and Pampanga. FAW is an invasive species causing damage to crops, mostly corn.

Edgardo Supan, officer-in-charge of the RCPC, said based on their validation most of the affected areas in the region were varietal techno-demo farm by seed companies and private institutions.

“Crop damage could be avoided through monitoring of the presence of pests and diseases,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nelson Bautista, DA RFO3 regional technical director, said a team has been directed to utilize the available materials in conducting intensive surveillance and provide control measures in containing the pest-occurrence in farm-corn areas.

Evergilio Aquino, FAW task force coordinator, said the RCPC and the task force team are continuously conducting information campaigns in rural areas among farmers to promote awareness on the threat of the pest.

“Fall armyworm is an invasive moth and prefers to eat maize specifically the hybrid and open-pollinated varieties (OPV) corn but possibly feeds on onion and other crops,” Aquino added. (PNA)