Los Baños, Laguna—A program to increase the productivity of tomato farmers in the municipalities of Sinait, Paoay, Batac, and Sarrat in the Ilocos Region has been launched, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development said.
With its three component projects, the program aims for the development of integrated crop management, use of adaptable technologies, and site-specific pest and nutrient management to increase tomato production, the agency said in a media orientation here.
Leilani D. Pelegrina, PCAARRD Crops Research Division Vegetables Program manager, led the monitoring and evaluation of sites in Ilocos region with project leaders from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and representatives of Northern Foods Corp.
Initial field trials of the three component projects have been set up, Pelegrina said.
The first component project on disease management tests the efficacy of the healthy seedling technology for the management of most prevalent diseases in Ilocos region—tomato yellow leaf curl disease, early and late blight, bacterial disease, and Fusarium wilt.
Focusing on insect pest management, the second component project will test the efficacy of the modified release strategy of Trichogramma chilonis in combination with nuclear polyhedrosis viruses to control major pests of tomatoes such as tomato armyworm (Helicoverpa armigera) and tomato cutworm (Spodoptera litura).
The third component project focuses on nutrient management, Pelegrina said. It will test different fertilizer formulations to know the site-specific nutrient management program for tomatoes in the major tomato-producing municipalities in the region, she further explained.
Experimental sites in Brgy. Ricudo, Sinait, Ilocos Sur; Brgy. Cabagoan in Paoay, and Brgy. Quiligsur in Batac, Ilocos Norte were also monitored for the program.