INFORMATION officers will be tapped to intensify information campaign on Banana Fusarium Wilt (BFW) or Panama disease.

The regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Davao Region gathered the information officers in Davao Region for a "Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Intensified Communications Campaign on Management and Control of BFW in Davao Region" held in Tagum City recently.

Information officers from Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley Province participated in the three-day workshop intended to orient them on DA-Davao's interventions against the dreaded banana fusarium disease.

Noel Provido, chief information officer, said like any diseases, accurate and timely information is crucial as management strategies such as quarantine and eradication protocols including other interventions must be clearly communicated on the ground.

Provido also stressed that DA have laid packages of assistance for the farmers to manage and control fusarium disease. These include assistance for eradication, use of use of tolerant varieties (GCTCV 218/219), crop shifting, and use of trichoderma as biological control.

"The role of information officers is to communicate to farmers the range of available options such that farmers' decision is based on informed choice and not something that is dictated upon by anybody else," he said.

The workshop has established the information network and core of advocates to beef up DA-Davao's information campaign and harmonize and mainstream it with the existing communications program of the local government units.

The workshop would also lead to the creation of a communication plan to further address the spread of BFW and will be drafted for implementation by the participants.