By Estrella Z. Gallardo
The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) funded the project, “Development of Area-wide Management (AWM) Approaches for Fruit flies in Mango for Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, and the Asia-Pacific Region,” to reduce fruit fly infestation and improve yield and quality of mango.
Launched last year, the said project adopts the AWM technology and improved pre- and postharvest practices in mango production and will run for five years under the leadership of Dr. Stefano de Faveri of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in Queensland Australia.
Philippine component studies led by researchers from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP Mindanao), and the Provincial Agriculturists Office of Davao del Norte (PAGRO), evaluate small-scale area-wide control treatments in a wet tropical environment, and integrate AWM, disease control, and best management practices into commercial systems.
UPLB scientist Dr. Celia DR. Medina and her team, which include researchers from PAGRO Davao del Norte, established fruit fly traps in Samal Island as part of the AWM trial. They are currently identifying the most efficient protein bait and blocking material for male annihilation technique.
Meanwhile, the postharvest component is being led by Dr. Emma Ruth V. Bayogan of UP Mindanao. In the recent project’s annual meeting, Dr. Bayogan presented the initial accomplishments of their component studies which include a review on postharvest disease profiles and management such as the hot water treatment. They have also conducted initial evaluation of the mango fruits harvested from the trial site in Samal Island. Results showed that a small percentage was suitable for export even if majority of the fruits harvested were large and medium-sized.
Increase in the volume of export quality mango fruits by applying an integrated approach in pest management is expected by the end of the abovementioned project (PPCI).