SAN AGUSTIN CAMARINES SUR. Rice Coordinators from various municipalities in Camarines Sur attended a meeting on Plant Pest and Disease Surveillance in the Bicol Region at the DA Library on May 8, 2017 sponsored by the Department of Agriculture through the Regulatory and Integrated Laboratories Division.

Some 22 participants mostly tasked to monitor incidence of plant diseases and pests in their area were given insights and updates such as Pest Risk Identification and Management , Pest Surveilance (forecasting )and Early Warning and Principles on Integrated Pest Management. The participants were taught to identify the insects that caused certain damages on crops, what pests caused injury or symptoms , what kind of diseases that injured rice crops.

 The meeting aimed to retool the Agriculture Extension Workers (AEWs) on the prevention of pest outbreaks, to be aware of the situation, generate data for forecasting, to determine pest status and other related factors. Resource persons were Evangiline de la Trinidad, chief of the Integrated Laboratory Division and Giovanni Valenciano, Sr. Research Specialist . Valenciano discussed the Rice Insect Pest and their Injuries, Basic Entomology and Anthropod Functional Groups in Rice Ecosystem.

De la Trinidad explained the functions of the Integrated Laboratories Division (ILD) and the Regional Crop Protection Center. She said that the ILD focuses more on Laboratory works particularly on diagnostics. The Regulatory Division, as an extension arm is tasked to assist the LGU in the pest monitoring, collect reports and submit it to the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) for profiling and forward it to the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) she added. She further discussed other topics such as the Principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) giving emphasis on principle no. 5 quoting “Pesticide is not a substitute for good farming.”(B.Nunez)