C. Luzon farmers warned vs. pests, diseases

By Zorayda Tecson

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Department of Agriculture in Central Luzon (DA-3) said farmers need to monitor pests and diseases that normally attack during the first quarter of the year.

In its advisory, the DA-3 said that based on its historical data, the pests and diseases that will likely occur from January to March are rodents, rice black bug, brown plant hopper, rice stem borer and bacterial leaf blight.

The possible areas to be affected, it said, are the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Tarlac.

Edgardo Supan, chief of the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) of DA-3, said crop damage could be avoided through monitoring of the presence of pests and diseases.

Supan said early detection of pests and diseases is needed to prevent infestation and outbreaks.

“Infestation may cause big damage to the farms which result in income loss for the farmers,” he said in a statement.

Supan recommended the strengthening of pest surveillance and management activities to deal with the possible infestation threat.

He said the RCPC is continuously conducting information campaigns in rural areas among farmers to promote awareness on the threat of pests and diseases.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Luzon (BFAR 3) has released some 13,000 tilapia fingerlings along Pampanga River in Barangay San Vicente, Apalit town in this province.

The move is under the agency’s Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa (BASIL) program which aims to repopulate the rivers and lakes with fish species, such as carp and tilapia.

BFAR-3 director Wilfredo Cruz said the communal stocking activity is one of their interventions to protect and enrich the river and the fish that live there.

“It aims to reinvigorate the Pampanga River and at the same time, to boost fish stocks for our fisherfolk to have a sustainable catch of fish that could help augment their livelihood,” Cruz said in an interview Friday.

Pampanga River is among the major bodies of fresh water in the country placed under the BASIL program, which was launched in 2017 to restore the fish population. (PNA)