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DOST-PCAARRD and PCA facilitate production of biological control agents against coconut rhinoceros beetle

To mitigate the risk of a coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB) infestation in typhoon-stricken coconut regions, the Philippine Coconut Authority – Davao Research Center (PCA-DRC) implemented the project, “Pest Management Strategies for CRB in Typhoon Odette-Affected Regions.”

Through funding support of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), the project team, led by Ms. Johana C. Orense of PCA-DRC, assesses CRB incidences in affected farms and facilitates the application of the biological control agent (BCA) green muscardine fungus (GMF) and other integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for CRB.

In partnership with the PCA Albay Research Center and PCA Regional Office XIII, PCA-DRC is mass-producing and distributing GMF to affected regions. It will also train the affected coconut farmers on IPM for CRB in the coming months.

Some products at the GMF Production Center at the PCA-DRC. (Image credit: Crops Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD)

Apart from mass producing GMF, the project team also monitored and assessed the extent of beetle damage and IPM requirements in Typhoon Odette-affected regions.  In Malitbog and Sogod, Leyte, a 100%-beetle incidence was reported, but this is expected to decline upon the application of appropriate IPM strategies. Other areas will also be assessed prior to and post-assessed upon IPM application.

The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team of the Crops Research Division (CRD), led by Dr. Allan B. Siano, with Ms. Alissa Carol M. Ibarra, Industry Strategic Science and Technology (S&T) Program (ISP) Manager for Coconut and key CRD staff members recently visited PCA-DRC in Bago Oshiro, Davao City to observe GMF production. 

The M&E team also visited other laboratories at the Integrated Crop Protection Division of PCA-DRC where BCAs against other major coconut pests, such as coconut scale insect (CSI), coconut leaf beetle, and Asiatic palm weevil (APW), are being reared.

DOST PCAARRD’s CRD representatives during its field M&E visit at the PCA-DRC for the project, “Pest Management Strategies for Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle in Typhoon Odette-Affected Regions.” (Image credit: Crops Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD)