The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) should study the damage that the mango pulp weevil (MPW) infestation has caused over the years to growers and farmers in Palawan.
Board Member Albert Rama, chair of the Palawan Provincial Board’s (PB) agriculture committee, said Tuesday during a privilege speech that the continuous spread of the mango infestation to the northern part of the province is already alarming.
Rama said the DA should help the province before the MPW spreads all over and causes more loses to the income of mango farmers and growers.
“Malaki sana ang kinikita sa manga, however, hindi ito nare-realize dahil sa mango pulp infestation. Tignan natin ang possibility na madeclare na under state of calamity because it is very alarming na, sobrang apektado na ang kabuhayan ng ating mga kababayan,” Rama said.
He added that Palawan has around 150,000 to 200,000 mango trees covering around 3,263 hectares of mango plantations with 326,300 trees that produce an estimated 22,788 metric tons of fruits.
Rama said one strategy that can help eradicate the MPW in the municipalities is synchronized defruiting and pruning of leaves.
The method is about baring the mango trees of fruits and leaves that can be host to the mango pulp weevil, he said.
He also reiterated his earlier recommendation that the province should be declared under a “state of calamity” so that funds can be allocated.
“Kung magagawa sana ay tanggalin ang mga dahon ng sabay-sabay, pati iyong fruits. Baka puwedeng solusyon ‘yon. We will also ask sa DA if there are studies about alternate host na baka doon siya puwedeng mag-survive hindi sa mangga natin,” he said.
The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), recently said that the MPW has been detected in Barangay Magara, Roxas.
“Nagkakaroon ng quarantine para hindi makalusot pero ngayon nasa northern Palawan na. We should act immediately. Dapat mapag-aralan kung paano ma-eradicate ang infestation, so that we can export sa ibang mga lugar,” Rama said.
Jane Buenaobra, officer-in-charge of the OPA, said earlier that the checkpoint between Puerto Princesa City and Roxas failed to prevent the entry of MPW-infected mangoes.
Earlier, the trading of mangoes outside the province has been banned since it was discovered in 1987.