In response to the outbreak of Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease affecting multiple rubber plantations in the province, the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rubber Research Institute (DA-PRRI), in collaboration with the provincial government of Agusan del Sur, proactively implemented measures. This included the distribution of agricultural supplies and inputs on November 15, 2023.

Anticipating this initiative, 44 participants eagerly attended the Farmers’ Orientation and Ceremonial Distribution of Agricultural Inputs for the Mitigation of Pestalotiopsis Leaf Fall Disease in Rubber. Notably, before this intervention, a comprehensive clearing of weeds was conducted to prepare the plantations for the impending treatment.

The tools and supplies distributed to combat Pestalotiopsis included fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, machetes, safety coveralls, drums, garden hoses, and grass cutters.

In a virtual communication, PRRI Executive Director Cheryl L. Eusala stressed the importance of adhering to the treatment plan to effectively control and prevent the spread of the disease. She commended the CARAGA region for its proactive approach in implementing quarantine protocols, actively participating, and collaborating with PRRI in control and mitigation efforts against Pestalotiopsis.

Rubber farmers such as Simplicio Pasos and Pricilla Cabusas, proprietors of a two-hectare rubber plantation in Trento, Agusan del Sur, expressed gratitude for the assistance in combating the disease. They extended their thanks to PRRI’s leadership under Executive Director III, Dr. Cheryl Lazaga Eusala, and further conveyed appreciation to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, DA Regional Executive Director Engr. Ricardo M. Oñate, and Provincial Agriculturist Hon. Armando Valiente for their heartfelt support to the rubber industry. The assistance provided has extended to the identified areas in the municipalities of Trento, Bunawan, and Buenavista.

The ceremonial distribution was attended by PRRI Senior Science Researcher Jill Villanueva and PRRI staff members Glenn Corpuz, Kim Gonzales, and Ma. Nita Roldan. Additionally, present at the event were the active Chief of Trento Research Station in Agusan del Sur, Mr. Escolastico S. Cagatin, and Rubber Focal Person, Ms. Joy Dumape.

– 𝑱𝒖𝒍𝒊𝒖𝒔 𝑩𝒊𝒐𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒐