Rice grain bug outbreak hits Antique town

Published February 26, 2021, 3:08 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY – An outbreak of rice grain bug hit Barbaza, Antique and the Department of Agriculture Western Visayas (DA Region 6) is leading interventions to stop this infestation.

A black bug that has infected rice grains in Barbaza town, Antique province.

“The rice grain bug as a grain feeding pest causes more serious damage to rice than the rice bug or ‘tiangaw.’ It is a small but very fast-moving insect. It attacks during the flowering up to the milking stage of the rice plant,” said Ryan Rasgo, chief of the Western Visayas Regional Crop Protection Center (Western Visayas RCPC).

The Western Visayas RCPC is coordinating with the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) of the Barbaza local government unit (LGU) as the infestation has affected at least 548 hectares.

Due to the infestation, the rice production in 14 barangays slumped.

The significant crop damage prompted Barbaza MAO to seek technical assistance and interventions from DA Region 6 to mitigate the spread of pest damage.

Along with DA Region 6 Regional Information Officer James Earl Ogatis, Rasgo turned over biological control agents to Barbaza LGU as part of the technical assistance of DA.

DA Region 6 and Barbaza MAO are conducting an intensive information drive to alert farmers in the town’s other barangays.