Zambo agri office begins steps vs. fall armyworm

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By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Office of the City Agriculturist (OCA) has launched a massive information campaign on the management of fall armyworm (FAW) or Spodoptera frugiperda, an invasive species which causes significant damage to crops, mostly corn.

The OCA is also on alert and instituting measures to protect this city’s agricultural resources from the invasion of FAW.

City agriculturist Carmencita Sanchez said Saturday FAW wave been sighted in the barangays of Sangali, Manicahan, Ayala, Tagasilay, Zambowood, and Curuan in the east coast and Ayala in the west coast.

Sanchez said a contingency plan containing the requirements and projects needed to contain FAW has since been submitted to the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO).

She said the measures to contain, if not eliminate, include the creation of Task Force FAW.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has issued an executive order, which directs concerned government offices and agencies to put in a concerted effort against the invasive species.

The Department of Agriculture, through its Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC), has briefed its agriculture technologists on FAW awareness as part of measures to prevent and monitor it in the region.

Sanchez said the move is aimed to increase awareness on FAW as well as strengthen the capacity and capability of the technical and extension officers and farmers for its proper recognition to ensure a technically sound and sustainable FAW management system and reduce losses. (PNA)