A collaboration between Australia and the Philippines identifies potential strategies to reduce fruit fly infestation and improve the yield and quality of “Carabao” mango through innovative area-wide management approaches.
The project, “Development of area-wide management approaches for fruit flies in mango for Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, and the Asia-Pacific region” is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
The project sites are in Samal Island, Davao del Norte and Davao City.
The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology serves as the Philippine counterpart of ACIAR in monitoring the project.
PCAARRD said with the integration of AWM, pest and disease control strategies and best management practices, farmer cooperators showcased their mango fruits with promising qualities for export.
Among the major contributors to the result is the recommended fruit bagging material used by the farmer cooperators, which provided visible differences in the fruit quality, compared to the use of imported newspapers, PCAARRD said.
The use of the said fruit bagging material may also potentially reduce pesticide application, PCAARRD said.
The project team from the University of the Philippines Mindanao led by Dr. Emma Ruth Bayogan is exploring the optimal number of uses for the fruit bagging material.
The team said this would determine the overall costs of its utilization in mango production. They are also working on improving postharvest handling systems, such as optimizing hot water treatments to prolong the shelf-life of quality mango.
Davao del Norte Provincial Agriculturist Office headed by Dr. Juliet Cristina Zambrano is intensifying efforts to promote the utilization of the bagging material, alongside implementation of good agricultural practices through partnerships with local farmer cooperatives.
Entomologist Dr. Celia Medina of UP Los Banos leads in implementing the fruit fly monitoring study to continuously assess fruit fly injury levels on the mango fruits produced.