|By pinoyfarmer | March 15, 2010|
March 11, 2010 10:40 pm
By Danny O. Calleja
LEGAZPI CITY, March 11 – One way of eradicating anthracnose disease in mango fruits is the application of chlorine, according to the Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension (BPRE), a satellite organization under the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Anthracnose, also called black spots is caused by a fungus known as Colletotrichum gleosporioides and is considered a very serious disease that infects all parts of mango, including flower panicles, twigs, leaves and fruits of both mature and immature trees.
BPRE director Ricardo Cachuela, in a statement this week said his bureau has been conducting studies on the application of non-chemical treatment of mangoes as well as fresh banana fruits through hot water treatment (HTW).
One possible way to completely eradicate anthracnose is the application of chlorine and studies showed positive results in terms of controlling the disease, Cachuela said.
Chlorine is a chemical used to kill germs and is usually being used as water purifier and disinfectant.
Dr. Kevin Yaptengco of the University of the Philippines- Los Baños Institute of Agricultural Engineering (UPLB-IAE) who had been helping in the studies recommended to study further the variables of lowering the heating temperature of HWT and provide longer or shorter time for immersion, Cachuela said.
“We have taken the suggestion and we are now in the process of conducting trials considering the temperature and time protocols as recommended by Dr. Yaptengco,” the BPRE chief said.
Canchuela explained that the BPRE studies and researches focused on finding more effective solutions to anthracnose is prompted by facts that Philippine mangoes are being subjected to a series of production and postharvest threats.
Quoting Roberto Amores, president of the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Association (PhilFoodex) , Cachuela said these include the physiological characteristics of mango that are susceptible to bacterial contamination, poor handling methods, quarantine protocol, volume of export and effects of climate change which seriously affects the local mango industry.
The BPRE studies are in close coordination with the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), UPLB-IAE and Philfoodex, among other stakeholders in the country’s mango industry, Cachuela said.
Part of this coordination was a recent consultation meeting facilitated by BAR assistant director Dr. Teodoro Solsoloy and participated in among others by Amores, Yapchengco and a representative from the BPI, he said.
The discussion focused on how to address the problems on anthracnose ended with the proposal of a feasibility study on the cultural management of the infestation that would be formulated in collaboration among BPRE, UPLB-IAE, BPI, BAR and Hi-Las Marketing Corporation, a mango exporting firm also headed by Amores.
Among the action plan expected under the feasibility study would be the study on re-designing HWT facility, temperature and immersion protocol of HWT, use of chlorine and other non-chemical treatment, and pest and disease management, Cachuela said.
The technical side of the proposed study will be initiated by BPRE and UPLB while the research component will be undertaken by BAR in collaboration with other agencies. Results of the study are expected to help solve the anthracnose problem in mango, he said.
These activities are necessary as mango is among the country’s leading export products being considered into the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) which took effect last January 1.
ACFTA was formed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (Framework Agreement) signed on November 4, 2002. It covers trade in goods, services and investment.
FACEC provides an Early Harvest Program (EHP) consisting of unprocessed agricultural products and specific products agreed upon between PRC and individual ASEAN countries like Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. (PNA) LAP/LQ/DOC/