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Five Surigao Sur communities will benefit from a new rice pest control lab.

BUTUAN CITY, PHILIPPINES – The Department of Agriculture in Caraga (DA-13) announced Tuesday that rice farmers in five municipalities in Surigao del Sur will now benefit from a laboratory that would assist eliminate pests infestation and rice farm diseases in the area.

The DA-13 announced Monday that it has formally inaugurated a Biological Control (Biocon) Agent Laboratory in the municipality of Cantilan.

Ricardo Oate Jr., DA-13 Regional Executive Director, Cantilan Mayor Carla Lopez-Pichay, and Surigao del Sur 1st District Representative Prospero Pichay oversaw the opening of the laboratory.

The DA-13 stated that “the laboratory will directly benefit farmers in the communities of Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen, and Lanuza.”

The laboratory will also provide Biocon agents such as Metharizium anisopliae, a fungus that develops on the cuticle of insect hosts and reduces the populations of rice black bugs (RBB), locusts, mosquitoes, and soil termites, according to the agency.

In addition, the laboratory will mass-produce various biological control agents, such as Trichoderma and Trichogramma, and promote integrated pest management and biological pest and disease control in its coverage area.

“Through the (laboratory), it will be able to quickly distribute Biocon agents to farmers in Surigao del Sur’s first district while also servicing the entire province in terms of natural pest management,” according to the DA-13.

The laboratory’s equipment and components, which included a constructed laminar flow hood, a heavy-duty blender, and a pressure cooker, were also given over to the Cantilan town government.

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