AN ORGANIC fungicide to fight the black sigatoka, a blight that affects bananas, has been introduced in the Philippines.
Stockton Agrimor Philippines Inc. launched Timorex Gold last week, the first registered organic fungicide in the country.
"We are very much excited with the official and grand launch of the product (Timorex Gold) in the Philippines. We have been growing and investing our business here for some quite time. This will truly benefit the banana industry in the Philippines, knowing that banana is one of the country's most exported commodity which contributes a lot in the economy," said Ziv Tirosh, global CEO and president of the Stockton Group.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, who attended the launching, commended the Stockton Company for developing an organic fungicide that "does not damage beneficial insects and is a fully secure product for aerial spraying and other conventional methods."
Timorex Gold is made from the extract of the Australian "tea tree" or Melaleuca alternifolia plant. The plant extract attacks the black sigatoka's cell wall and membrane.
Black sigatoka or the black leaf streak is considered as the most damaging and most costly disease of commercial bananas. It attacks the plant's leaves, ripens the fruit prematurely and reduces the yield.
The Philippines is the second largest banana exporter in the world, sharing 15 to 18 percent of the total top 10 agricultural exports revenue.