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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Agriculture – RFO 10 in coordination with the Philippine Rubber Research Institute (PRRI), Bureau of Plant Industry – Plant Quarantine Service (BPI-PQS) and Crop Pest Management Division (CPMD) and High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) strengthened the surveillance operations to detect the incidence and track the spread of Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease of rubber in some areas in Bukidnon
The convergence efforts of DA-10 helmed by Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado through its HVCDP, the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC), Regulatory and Field Operations divisions with the Provincial Agriculture Office of Bukidnon involved the local authorities, rubber farmers, and agricultural experts from DA-HVCDP through Engr. Jose Zalde B. Samsom, Jr., CFIDP focal.
PRRI Sr. Science Research Specialist Jill D. Villanueva said that the coordination efforts aim to mitigate the disease, which is fungal and caused by a pathogen called Pestalotiopsis sp.
She stressed the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing plant diseases threatening the region’s rubber production.
Bukidnon is a primary rubber-producing province in Northern Mindanao, contributing to the region’s overall rubber production of 13,378 metric tons with a total area planted of 7,400 hectares.
BPI PQS Cagayan de Oro City OIC Arnold S. Dela Cruz, Jr. highlighted the importance of safeguarding rubber crops and other valuable commodities.
Said rubber disease, if left unchecked, may cause leaf defoliation or falling of leaves and may result in reduced productivity in the worst affected areas.
In response to the growing concerns regarding the protection of rubber plantations in Bukidnon, the Provincial Governor issued an E.O no 26 series of 2023, an order banning the transport outside, sale of seedlings, or planting materials.
During the coordination meeting, the team discussed possible actions to be taken and recommendations to mitigate the said disease. (DA RFO-10)