Vizcaya farmers join pilot citrus project

| Written by Padayon UP

KASIBU, Nueva Vizcaya: At least 13 citrus growers from Barangay Malabing Valley have been selected to participate in the pilot testing of balanced fertilization and pesticide use as a means to boost harvest in the Cagayan Valley Region.

“Our objective is to rejuvenate unproductive citrus orchards in order to increase yield and address the infestation/infection of insect pests and diseases that affect production,” said Lovelyn Gaspar, research division chief of the Department of Agriculture‘s Regional Field Office 2 (DA-RFO2).

She urged the citrus growers to cooperate and gave assurances that all the necessary technologies would be provided by the Agriculture department and other agencies in the region.

Valeriano Corales of DA’s Nueva Vizcaya Experiment Station said unproductive citrus orchards along the road were chosen for the project, which began implementation last October 19. A field assessment had found that many had unproductive trees that were already 30 to 35 years old. Rind borers and pink disease was also found in the area.

Growers will be encouraged to use chicken dung, controlled release fertilizer, foliar fertilizer, agricultural lime for acidic areas, soil drenching and mykovam — a soil-based biofertilizer containing fungi that was developed by the University of the Philippines Los Baños’ Institute of Biotechnology.

The pesticide component, meanwhile, includes the need-based application of organic fungicides, insecticides and bactericides and even pheromones, among others.

Daniel BartongMalabing Multipurpose Cooperative manager, expressed thanks to the DA-RFO2 and the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya, led by Gov. Carlos Padilla, for their continued support of the organization and local farmers.

“We are thankful that we were chosen to be part of this research, which mainly aims to improve our productivity,” Bartong said.

The DA-RFO2 said the project was in support of agriculture modernization under the OneDA Reform Agenda.

(This article, written by Leander C. Domingo, was first published in the The Manila Times Website on November 4, 2021)