Providing much of the mango fruits in the country, backyard growers may contribute more to the industry if their pest and diseases control measures are properly recorded. Afterall, one of the most important problems that affect the country’s mango industry is the high incidence of pest and diseases.
Once documented, these control measures will give way to an integrated management system. The system will lessen pest control cost and its harmful effects to man and the environment. Most importantly, it will improve yield and fruit quality.
Towards this end, researchers from the Department of Agriculture, Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (DA-WESVIARC) interviewed more than three hundred mango growers on their cultural and pest control practices. These growers were owners of not more than ten mango trees and engaged in mango production from ten to twenty years. Most of the trees that they owned were more that 20 years old during the study.
Research results showed that the most adopted practices of the farmers were fruit bagging, fertilizer and pesticide application, and sanitation. Pruning and irrigation were seldom practiced.
Statistical results indicated that the integration of fruit bagging, fertilizer application, pruning, and irrigation have significantly affected mango production. Bagging and pruning, on the other hand, significantly affected net income.
Furthermore, pruning and irrigation, which were not widely practiced by the backyard mango growers, have shown significant influence on production when combined with the system, while pruning has a significant effect on net income. The researchers, therefore recommended the use of these practices in the IPM system.
The researchers also recommended the effective dissemination of information, particularly science-based solutions, by the government and even by the private sector to help the growers.
Demonstration trials to showcase different farm practices to control mango pests and improve fruit quality and yield; conduct of more Farmers’ Field School training and farmers’ classes, as well as development of relevant information, education, and communication (IEC) materials will also be of help, as seen by the researchers.
This and other information on research and development activities pertaining to the agriculture, forestry and natural resources (AFNR) sectors are featured in the 2009 Highlights - a yearly publication of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) that presents the research and development accomplishments of government institutions towards bringing better opportunities for our people especially in the countryside. Ricardo R. Argana, S&T Media Service