By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY — The town of Sto. Tomas in Davao del Norte is taking steps to contain diseases that have infested banana plantations there.
Sto. Tomas Mayor Ernesto Evangelista has ordered the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAGRO) here to monitor and provide technical assistance to banana plantations in several barangays reportedly hit by the fusarium wilt disease.
“I am ordering the municipal agriculturist to extend technical assistance to the banana plantations affected by the fusarium wilt disease,” Evangelista said in a statement.
He said growing a single variety of banana suggests that these plants have nearly identical genetics and make them susceptible to the diseases such as the fusarium wilt.
“We hope that banana plantations through our MAGRO could contain the spread of the Panama disease if eradication is impossible.
The way I understand these banana plantations grow cavendish banana which is one clonal variety of banana,” the mayor said.
He issued a statement after banana plantations in nine barangays expressed concerns over rising production losses due to fusarium wilt disease.
The barangays are Kimamon, La Libertad, Salvacion, Talomo, Lunga-og, Casig-ang, Balagunan, Tibal-og and Kinamayan.
Apart from providing technical assistance, Evangelista also ordered MAGRO head Elmer Degorio to implement strategies to ease the impact of the fungus.