ZAC B. SARIAN's Corner

August 17,2011


IPM in mango is successful

Science-based practices really work wonders. Just like the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that scientist recommend for reducing pest and disease damage in crops.

          One example is the IPM project on mango pulp weevil (MPW) in Palawan and IPM on anthracnose disease in Davao Oriental under the auspices of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development.

          Mango pulp weevil is a serious pest in mango in Palawan. The weevil lays its eggs in the developing fruit and when these hatch, the larvae feed on the flesh. While the infested fruit may look unblemished, the pulp inside has hardened and dry brown chambers can be seen due to the feeding of the MPW larvae. Anthracnose, on the other hand, is a fungal disease that infects the fruits, leaves, flowers and stems. Infected fruits develop tiny brown spots that enlarge into tear-shape pattern as the fruit ripens. Anthracnose is the most serious disease in mango and also attacks many other crops.

          In the IPM project for mango pulp weevil, the technicians adopted innovative cultural methods such as open center pruning, and sanitation as well as chemical control. The study was conducted in Brooke’s Point where there was severe MPW infestation. The open center pruning ensures more sunlight penetration in the tree canopy that becomes unfavorable for MPW to inhabit. Sanitation, on the other hand, destroys the habitat of the weevil. This involves removal of the dead branches, twigs, weeds and fallen leaves.

          The IPM for anthracnose aimed to reduce the infection on mango leaves and fruits. The technology involves sanitation, chemical control, bagging and pruning. Sanitation is done throughout the year to remove dead branches and decayed leaves. Fungicide application is done continuously starting on the 10th day after flower induction (DAFI) until the fruits are 10 to 20 days to harvest. Fruit bagging is done 50 to 60 DAFI.

          In both Palawan and Davao Oriental, the technologies were disseminated to the farmers through trainings and demonstrations. In 2008, PCARRD commissioned the Central Luzon Stare University to assess the economic and social impacts of the site-specific IPM for mango project – Brooke’s Point in Palawan for mango pulp weevil and Mati, Davao Oriental for anthracnose.

          And what are the findings? The IPM interventions which were promoted in the provinces where they were conducted resulted in the decline in pest and disease incidence. There was also an improvement in fruit quality and farm productivity. Although the cost involved in the IPM-treated farms was higher, the income of the farmers using the IPM technology increased tremendously.

          Here are the results in Palawan. Under IPM technology, the farmers sprayed their trees 12 times while those non-IPM farmers sprayed 14 times. The pest incidence per tree under IPM is 17% while the non-IPM growers had 36% pest incidence.

          The yield per tree under IPM is 830 kilos while the other growers (non-IPM) is only 313 kilos. The cost of pest management in IPM is P3,155 per tree while that of the non-IPM is P2,456. While the IPM technology was more expensive to do, the profit per tree of P12,025 is much higher than the net income of the other growers at P1,944 per tree per year.

          In the case of anthracnose in Mati, Davao, the IPM practitioners got a much higher yield as well as profit than the non-IPM farmers. The IPM practitioners got 538 kilos per tree per year compared to 256 kilos for the non-IPM farmers. In Palawan, the cost of pest management by growers trained in IPM is 29 percent higher than other mango growers. But the IPM-trained farmers were able to recover the additional cost and generate higher net income of 519 percent more in Palawan and 155 percent more in Davao. This was due to the reduction in pest and disease incidence and improvement in yield. MPW infestation was lower by 53 percent in fruits produced by the IPM farmers in Palawan while incidence of anthracnose was lower by 39 percent in farms of those trained in Davao. As a result, the yield of trained farmers increased by 165 percent in Palawan and 110 percent in Davao.