By Estrella Z. Gallardo
Due to health hazards and the additional cost to the farmer on the use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, since the agriculture industry is dependent on inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, there is a need to develop organic pesticides especially for vegetables.
The Central Mindanao University (CMU) aware of this challenge screened ten potential indigenous plants from Mindanao. Of these, it was found that the leaves of Tasmannia piperita (Hook.f.) Miers are effective when used as organic fungicide.
- piperitais a shrub or treelet indigenous to the Philippines, Borneo, Sulawesi, Moluccas, Flores, New Guinea, and Australia. It grows in exposed ridges and peaks of high-altitude mossy forests.
The natural fungicide, since it uses local ingredients can be safe for non-target organisms and to human healt, is affordable to vegetable growers.
When used on plants, the organic fungicide can prevent leaf spot disease of lettuce caused by Alternaria brassicae and the late blight disease of tomato caused by Phytophthora infestans.
The project is funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD). (PPCI)