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Filipino Discovers Treatment System for Bananas
Written by Cherry   
Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Philippines is the 3rd largest banana exporting country in the world. About P35 billion was earned by banana industry and almost P400 million local taxes was contributed to the country.

Moko and Panama Diseases, these are fungous and contagious infections that could spread in banana plantations and also eventually damage the plants. Moko is an infectious disease which ripens the fruits too early. It also kills the infected plants in few weeks. Panama disease is a Fusarium oxyforumcubense fungus which destroyed the Malaysian banana 3 years ago.

These diseases have been treated traditionally using insecticides and the crops were being chopped and burned to eliminate the pests. But this method doesn’t directly destroy the microorganisms that are in the soil. As a result, banana sprouts become carriers of the diseases which lead to recurrence of the diseases and damage the whole plantation.

Let us commend a Filipino plant pathologist, horticulturist, and nematologist who conducted a study on this problem. He is Dr.Angelito Dela Cruz from UPLB. He taught and worked as a researcher for 15 years and has worked for several major multinational plantations for almost 20 years. At present, he is the VP for Technical services at the DelfiAgriventures, a company that produces agricultural, aquaculture, and environmental products. The treatment system of Dr. Dela Cruz can be compared to a vaccine which helps the plant to restore itself. The concept of this is to introduce "good bacteria" which will fight bad bacteria.  Dela Cruz's Moko-Panama disease treatment system has been tested and proven effective by DOST and the Department of Agriculture in 2011. To treat the diseases, the first step is to inject the affected plants and surrounding plants with minerals in the solution. The natural disinfectant properties of the solution will eventually that kill the bacteria and fungi. The second step is conditioning the soil with the same mineral solution. This will also kill the fungi and the bacteria in the soil and this will also deactivate the soil’s pH. So the plants will easily absorb nutrients. The treatment promotes beneficial microorganisms which will fight against infection. According to Dela Cruz's, farmers need to inject the treatment in moderate to severe cases to save the buffer plants and prevent the spread of infection. The farmer may chop the dead trees, the healthy buffer plants and those that have been cured still remains. [via ph.omg.yahoo.com]


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