Drumming up support in sustaining the implementation of the global action to control the spread of armyworm in the region, the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), National Crop Protection Center (NCPC), and the Department of Agriculture in Ilocos through the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) and in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), conducted a field visit for policymakers from eight Local Government Units in Pangasinan at the corn demo sites located in Brgy. Primicias, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan.

Held on June 20, 2023, the field visit was participated in by the various Farmer Field School (FFs) graduates in the eight corn demo sites from Asingan, Calasiao, Sta. Maria, San Carlos, Sta. Barbara, Balungao, Binalonan and Mangatarem in the province of Pangasinan.

Aimed at showcasing the various management practices and technologies using different biological control agents and other FAW management options that are proven adaptable in the region, the field visit opened doors for the policy makers to be encouraged to draft a resolution in their own municipalities/cities supporting efforts for the sustainability of the projects and activities of the FAW management and control in their localities.

Pangasinan Board Member Nicholi John Louie Sison, Chair of the Committee on Agriculture in his message during the Planning Workshop held at The Monarch in Calasiao, Pangasinan vowed to give all-out support in the implementation of the various FAW-management and control activities as he noted the significant impact to incomes of farmers affected by armyworm infestation.

Dr. Peter Magdaraog, BPI’s Chief of Crop Pest Management Division highlighted the various accomplishments being undertaken to control FAW in the region to include among others the large scale field demonstration of the IPM-PAMS technologies and strategies for Geo-Zone countries, pest surveillance and monitoring using the newly developed BPI collect app that replaces paper forms used in survey-based data gathering that is real-time and convenient way to report pest incidence in the locality together with the establishment of Bantay-Peste Brigade and organization of ‘Bantay Peste’ Pest Scout.

With the low production of the bio-control agents to date, Dr. Magdaraog saw the opportunity to encourage the local policy-makers to support the establishment of a municipal BCA mass rearing facility and all other vital activities to control FAW to cater the needs of farmers in the field.

Seeing this as a potential livelihood opportunities for the local dwellers in the eight municipalities, the municipal agriculturists wanted the BPI to provide basic information as to the needed budgetary requirements and design of the facility so that they could lobby support from the Sangguniang Bayan for its funding.

Other than asking for the support in the establishment of mass rearing facility for BCA, the policy makers are also encouraged to draft resolution for the adoption of technologies on the management of fall armyworm and to sustain the GA-FAW activities in the region.

Also present in the field visit and planning workshop are OIC-Regional Technical Director for Research Dr. Florentino Adame, Ms. Precerpina Luzaran, BPI’s- Crop Pest Management Division Assistant Chief, FAO Representative Dr. Wilma Cuaterno and Dr. Hermenigilda Gabertan, Assistant Director of BPI who delivered her welcome remarks via online and ILD Division Chief, Dr. Constancia Diaz.