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Tungro Viral Rice Pest
« on: July 24, 2009, 04:32:28 PM »
Western Visayas' Department of Agriculture (DA) officials said climate change, particularly its spells of rains and damp conditions, was contributing to the resurgence of tungro, a viral rice disease.

Ylemia Olanday, DA’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) regional coordinator, said tungro was a destructive rice disease, that became widespread in the region in 1983 and was attacking rice crops since then.

In 2008 alone, tungro, which utilized the green and zigzag leaf hoppers as carriers, destroyed thousands of hectares of rice crops in Western Visayas.

But, Olanday was quick to allay apprehensions about it, saying tungro did not pose a serious threat to Capiz's rice farms.

Tungro, Olanday said affected only five hectares of Capiz's 40,000 hectares of rice farms.

She reported this was based on the monitoring the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist conducted until June this year.

Provincial Agriculturist Sylvia De la Cruz said her personnel have been conducting information drive to help farmers on how to prevent tungro in their farms.

Olanday said Officer-In-Charge Judy Gaton, DA Regional Office' Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (RAFID) and Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) agriculturists came here on July 22 to conduct an information caravan on tungro awareness among local media practitioners.

The DA information campaign is part of the government program to sustain adequate rice production towards food sufficiency.

De la Cruz said Capiz Governor Victor Tanco launched a vigorous rice planting program turning the province into a surplus palay producer. (PNA)

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