The Department of Agriculture (DA) said corn farmers will receive help with autumn worm containment (FAW), including pheromone baits, pesticides, sprayers, pest control materials and digital devices.

The program was approved by Secretary of Agriculture William D. Dar’s Memorandum Order No. 26 with funds from Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan for Restoration as a One Act.

According to Mr Dar, corn accounted for 5.8% of gross value added in agriculture in 2020 and amounted to 102.5 billion pesetas at constant 2018 prices.

“Production was up to 8.12 million tons (MT) in an effective area of ​​2.55 million hectares with yields of approximately 4.18 tons per hectare for yellow corn and 1.89 tons per hectare for white corn,” said Dar in the memorandum.

As part of the memorandum regulation, the project also provides for the monitoring and surveillance of pests in maize-growing areas.

According to Dar, the DA’s National Maize Program will oversee the implementation of the FAW management project and be tasked with carrying out assessments and submitting regional reports and regular updates, while the regional maize program in the affected provinces will manage the procurement of material distributed to affected farmers.

The memorandum arrangement also directed local government units to send reports to the regional corn program and DA regional pest control center to release pesticide and pheromone baits to their constituents.

FAW was first discovered in Piat, Cagayan, in June 2019 and has since spread to the Zamboanga, Bicol and northern Mindanao peninsula. – Revin Mikhael D. Ochave