Samal still free from mango pests

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Thursday, February 13, 2014


THE City Agriculturist Office (CAO) of the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) said the island remains free from invasive pests called mango seed and pulp weevils.

Igacos agriculturist Engr. Ana Lea A. Zapanta, during Davao Business Forum in Derm Path at SM City Davao on Tuesday, said the implementations of two measures, which prevent the transportation of mango fruits and seedlings into the island help maintain its status as free from those mango pests.

These are the Igacos ordinance No. 2010-168, also known as the Samal Island Mango Industry Code of 2010, and the issuance of Bureau of Plant Industry's (BPI) Special Quarantine Administrative Order No.2 s. 2011.

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"Despite the two laws, there are still some visitors in the island who still try to bring in mangoes from outside the island despite the warnings that are given to them," she said.

According to the website of the Department of Agriculture (DA) 11, Fisheries and Forestry of the Queensland Government, Australia, the mango seed weevil "is considered a minor pest as it causes no significant economic damage to fruit. The minute egg-laying scars are barely discernible at harvest and the weevil is present only within the seed.

The fine tunnel in the flesh of mango is caused by the young larva as it burrows towards the seeds, leaving no sign of its earlier presence in the flesh."

Meanwhile, the mango pulp weevil "attacks the flesh rather than the seed. There are no signs of the weevil on the outside of the fruit. The weevils burrow into the pulp of the fruit to feed. The flesh rots and becomes inedible."

Zapanta said there are a number of instances where they confiscated bags of mangoes brought by the residents and tourists from outside of Samal Island, especially during summer and holiday seasons.

"When we confiscate the mangoes we put it in a drum and pour chemicals in it and we show this to those who were caught," she said.

However, they still find it difficult to check vehicles whether they try to bring in mangoes.

Zapanta said all these measures are being done to protect the mangoes of Samal since its products are being groomed for export quality.

For its high quality, Samal mangoes are exported to United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, and Korea.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 13, 2014.

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