The Department of Agriculture (DA) reached out the small and big banana growers and the other banana industry stakeholders to combat Panama disease.
Respectively, DA tapped the Filipino banana expert Agustin Molina, formerly of Bioversity International to help on these efforts.
“Major issues confronting the industry are lack of viable lands, impact of climate change, shift in market conditions, and emergence of new competitors,” Molino stated in the report of Philstar.
“We will strongly collaborate with all banana farmers, big and small, and local chief executives to find a long-term and sustainable solution to solve the Panama disease, and at the same time increase the exports of fresh bananas and other by-products,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.
Panama disease which slowly kills banana through the fungus Fusarium oxysporum that enters plant’s roots. It also colonizes the xylem that blocks the flow of the water and nutrients.
Despite the ongoing Panama that reached for almost 15, 507 has as of 2015 (full report: Cavendish Export Increases Amid Ongoing Panama Disease), the Philippines remained to be the top 2 exporter globally.
Dar emphasized what more if the ongoing problem for Panama is resolved.
“We are awaiting the results of geomapping being conducted by the DA-RFO 11 to validate the extent of infestation in Davao del Norte,” said Dar.
The collaboration of the banana industry stakeholders to combat Panama will begin through a meeting with the DA.
The High Value Crops Development Program, Agricultural Credit and Policy Council and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) were instructed to work and create a roadmap for banana export.
“The meeting will discussed proposed stricter phytosanitary measures to manage, control and contain the Panama disease, including setting up foot baths and tire dips,” Dar mentioned.
Reference: DA pulls out all stops vs Panama disease