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Agriculture officials to meet on 'coco lisap' problem

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Officials of the Department of Agriculture, City Agriculture’s Office and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) are set to meet in order to consolidate the number of coconut trees infected with the Coco Lisap in Zamboanga City.

Efren Carba of the PCA, disclosed that based from their monitoring, some 114,000 coconut trees are infected while Rolly Peralta, from the City Agriculture’s Office, reported that only 22,095 coco trees are affected by the said pests in at least 41 barangays of the city.

Due to the conflicting reports, the City Council has held in abeyance the resolution it earlier approved declaring a state of calamity in this city due to coco lisap infestation.

The passage of the state of calamity edict was based from recommendations made by the PCA so the city government can use calamity funds to help and assist coconut plantation owners and farmers.

According to Carba, the coco lisap infestation was first noticed to have originated in Cabunbata, Isabela City on October 12, 2012.

“It started with 70 coco trees which were infested where it spread to the other barangays infesting more than 74,000 the following year,” Carba said.

He said the pests have rapidly spread to the other adjacent barangays of Maligue, Calvario and Lanote.

One of the ways to eliminate the coco lisap is the introduction of parasitization by the PCA.

“These parasites are like larva that eats the eggs of the coco lisap pests, afterwards it turns into a compariella caluanica which is a friendly insect,” said Priscilla Jover of the Department of Agriculture.

The other mode of eliminating the CSI is with the use of a mixture of liquid detergent, water and oil and is sprayed on the affected coconut leaves.

Also present in the media forum were Melba Wee of DA, Ramon Rivera of PCA and Dennis Palabriga of DA. (Nonong Santiago)




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