CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, June 1 – The Department of Agriculture in Northern Mindanao (DA-10) activates its Quick Response Team following reported infestation of fall armyworm (FAW) in the region.

OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado instructed the team to conduct validation on extent of FAW infestation in the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, while continuous surveillance and monitoring of its occurence in other provinces.

Through the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) of the Integrated Laboratory Division (ILD) of the agency, provisions of insecticides and biological control agents were given to some affected farmers in Bukidnon.

DA-10’s Regulatory Division, in coordination with the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI), provincial and municipal local government intensify pest monitoring and surveillance to affected and non-affected areas.

“FAW is an invasive species causing damage to crops, mostly corn. It is an invasive moth and prefers to eat maize specifically the sweet corn and open-pollinated (OPV) corn varieties,” said RED Collado.

In 2019, Collado issued a special order for the composition of DA-10 Personnel to compose the Regional Team for the Intensification of Reporting and Surveillance of Fall Armyworm, outlines proactive responses to the possible adverse impact of pest outbreak caused by FAW.

Prior to its infestation, the agency issued an advisory to all local government units, alerting them on the possible occurrence of the insect pests.

Indicating its life cycle, damaging characteristics, DA-10 thru its Regulatory Division issued pest management recommendations and the protocol of reporting in cases of pest occurrences and detection.

Continuous provision of technical assistance to LGUs, following the FAW management protocol recommended by the DA-BPI for non-infested and infested areas.

Carlota S. Madriaga, Regional Technical Director for Operations of the agency said, “DA-10’s long term measures include capacitating farmers on FAW identification, including its farm management, mobilizing communities where farmers are the ‘bantay peste’ in their respective barangays, monitoring, reporting and early management.”

Collado calls for proactive stand to all LGUs on FAW infestation, to immediately report to its municipal agriculture office or to DA-10 thru its Provincial Operations Center.#(ATCabig)