DA vows to address ‘kurikong’ infestation threatening the mango industry
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is bent on helping mango farmers solve the lingering ‘kurikong’ infestation in their mango trees.
“Together, let us harness the power of science and technology to pro-actively get rid of ‘kurikong’ and other major concerns confronting our mango industry,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar told industry stakeholders during the First Luzon Mango Congress.
He then urged mango industry stakeholders and concerned DA agencies to enhance the protocol on the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) on mango production, making use of the latest agronomy and integrated pest management practices.
For his part, Ricardo Tolentino, president of the United Luzon Mango Stakeholders Association (ULMSA), lamented that many growers have shifted to other crops because of the damage caused by kurikong or cecid fly.
Cecid fly is a mosquito-like insect that lays its eggs on the fruit surface and young mango leaves. Its larva bores into the fruit and feeds on it, causing holes on the fruit.
Tolentino then asked his collegues, composed of mango growers, processors, traders, and other industry players, to unite with concerned DA agencies in the fight against ‘kurikong’ and save the country’s mango industry.
st mango’ in the world,” noted the DA chief.
Exports of fresh and dried mangoes amounted to $17.88 million from January to November 2019, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Last year, the country produced 737,938 metric tons (MT) of mangoes, worth P24 billion, of which Luzon shared 334,581 MT, representing 45 percent.