No antidote for cecid flies

LINGAYEN–The Provincial Agriculturist admitted that her office is helpless in containing the deadly attack by cecid flies in mango farms in Pangasinan.

Provincial Agriculture Officer Dalisay Moya said the destructive pest rampaged through mango plantations in the province for the past five years and nothing could stop it even as she pointed out that it is not only Pangasinan where there is cecid fly infestation but also in various parts of the country.

The pest causes block spots or rashes on the skin of mangoes till they rot and drop from the trees. These block spots are called by local mango farmers as “kurikong“.

She said they can only advise mango growers to adopt farm sanitation practices, including bagging or covering of green mangoes with plastic, to prevent the cecid fly from surviving in their plantations and save the fruits.

She also recommended frequent fogging and pruning of the trees during the rainy season to minimize the attack of the pest.

Moya also confirmed reports of farmers that no amount of insecticide can drive away the pest.

Mario Garcia, president of Pangasinan Mango Growers Association, said 80 percent of the mango farms in the province have already been attacked by the pest and the situation has alarmed mango growers.

He said the attack is so widespread that there may be an acute shortage of ripe mangoes in the markets in the days and weeks ahead.

Pangasinan is known to be top mango producer in the whole country while the San Carlos City’s carabao mangoes are the sweetest variety in the Philippines. (Leonardo Micua)

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