Pests attack Bukidnon farms as rainy season starts

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/02 August) – Rains have brought with them pests that now have infested several hectares of farms in Bukidnon planted mostly to corn and vegetables, provincial agriculture officer Alson Quimba on Monday said.

Quimba told MindaNews the infestation has affected 75 hectares in Manolo Fortich town and a few more in Malaybalay City and Kadingilan town.

He said the pests would mate during the dry spell and surface when the rain comes to feed on plants.

The official said they have kept tab of the problem with the visits of agricultural extension workers who coordinated with farmers in routine checks.

He said extension workers reported through their “early surveillance” mechanism.

Immediately, he said, they have controlled the infestation of areas reported to their office with insecticide.

Quimba said thanks to the detection mechanism, they have prevented another agricultural disaster.

He said Bukidnon has experienced rat infestation as well as locust attacks that destroyed hundreds of hectares of farmlands.

He, however, said that while they have already controlled the problem the “cured” areas still stand the risk of another infestation.

Other areas too may not be safe yet [from infestation], he added.

Extension workers were still going around the province to monitor the status of the infestation, he said.

The Provincial Agriculture Office reported about the infestation during a meeting of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council with the media to prevent its spread by raising public awareness. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)