LOS BAÑOS - The project management team (PMT) of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)-led project, “Upgrading the Calamansi Value Chain towards Improving the Calamansi Industry of Oriental Mindoro”, will conduct an online training on the identification of insect pests, beneficial insects, diseases of calamansi, and their management on 04 March 2021 via the Zoom platform. It is part of the project’s commitment to address the technical and market constraints confronting the calamansi industry of Oriental Mindoro.
The PMT saw the need to capacitate the nursery operators, farmers, technical staff from the agriculture sector, and other key stakeholders in Oriental Mindoro. Preliminary results of the project reveal that 90-100% of the samples gathered from several nurseries and calamansi farms are infected by either Huanglongbing (citrus greening), Tristeza or the combination of both. The pests, i.e., psyllids and aphids, that serve as vectors of these diseases need to be properly managed. The pests and diseases are recognized as one of the problems in calamansi production not only in Oriental Mindoro but also in other provinces. If not properly addressed, this will negatively impact the yield and quality of fruits.
In this training activity, the participants will be taught the identification of common pests and their characteristic damage, and their associated natural enemies. The trainees will be coached on the diagnosis of common diseases through visual observation of their signs and symptoms, guided on the different management strategies other than chemical use, mass production of target biological control agents, and learn the protocol for the production of clean and disease-free planting materials. Experts from the Institute of Weeds, Entomology and Plant Pathology (IWEP) under the College of Agriculture and Food Science of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (CAFS-UPLB) and Project Study Leaders will serve as resource persons for this training.
After the training, the PMT aims to collaborate with the local government units (LGUs) and partners from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MinSCAT) and the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) to help sustain the project and to provide inputs to the province’s plan to organize a local pest management team.
This project is implemented under the supervision of Dr. Edna A. Aguilar, Project Leader from the Institute of Crop Science (ICropS), and Dr. Pedcris M. Orencio, SEARCA’s Program Head for Research and Thought Leadership, in partnership with MinSCAT and the local government of Oriental Mindoro through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, and with funding support from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR).