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Home>News Articles>Highlights of Accomplishments in 2007>FFTC Consultant extends technical assistance to citrus growers in the Philippines
 April 17 2007
Prof. Su giving a lecture/demonstration to coop members and growers at the Malabing coop citrus foundation nursery.

Prof. Su giving a lecture/demonstration to coop members and growers at the Malabing coop citrus foundation nursery.

NUEVA VISCAYA, PHILIPPINES – Dr. Hong-Ji Su, Professor Emeritus at the National Taiwan University (NTU) and FFTC consultant on crop protection, visited the Malabing Valley, Nueva Viscaya, the leading citrus production area in Northern Luzon, Philippines in February 2007, to provide his technical expertise on citrus greening and other virus diseases, as well as to promote international technological exchange in the area of crop disease management.

Prof. Su met with the citrus growers of Malabing Valley, visited orchards and nurseries, and gave lecture and demonstration on the detection of citrus huanglongbing disease using the iodine test as well as the test strip for the detection of CTV. About 120 citrus growers attended the lecture.

Malabing Valley is situated on the Northeast of Kasibu, Nueva Viscaya. The valley is about 270 km from Manila. The terrain varies from flat to undulating and hilly to mountainous. Citrus cultivation in Nueva Viscaya has been recognized as one of the major contributors to the economic development of the province. Nueva Viscaya is the major producer of citrus in Region 2, Philippines. The present area planted is approximately 1,200 hectares. The major varieties planted are: Satsuma mandarin (80%), Ponkan (10%), and pummelo (5%). The rest of the varieties planted are: Clementine, Navels, Hamlin, etc. Average yield per tree of Satsuma and Ponkan is about 45 kg. The major pests and diseases are: rust and red mites, psylla, aphids, leafminer, fruit fly, rind borer, huanglongbing/greening; CTV, scab, powdery mildew, melanose, canker, pink disease, and phytopthora foot/root rot/gummosis.

malabing valley

Prof. Su in front of the Namuje Farm, a pioneer of citrus production at the Malabing Valley, Nueva Viscaya, together with the farm owner, Mr. Alfonso Namuje (rightmost) and his daughter (second from left) and Ms Juliet Ochasan (leftmost) of DA-BPI.

The visit of Prof. Su was very timely because just recently, a Citrus Task Force for Citrus Disease Control composed of representatives from the Malabing Valley Multipurpose Cooperative; local government of Kasibu municipality, Department of Agriculture (DA) -Region 2; Nueva Viscaya State University (NVSU), and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) was created to spearhead the formulation of management strategies and policies against the devastating diseases of Kasibu citrus industry, primarily the citrus huanglongbing disease.

During his visit, Prof. Su confirmed the presence of citrus tatterleaf virus (CTLV) in several trees of Ponkan and Satsuma grafted on trifoliate rootstocks, which was further confirmed from the results of the RT-PCR which Prof. Su did back in NTU on the samples that he collected from the Malabing Valley.

Prof. Su also visited the NVSU, where he met with the university president and staff during a dinner hosted by the university. Possible collaboration with NTU and NVSU were discussed particularly in regards to indexing for virus diseases of citrus and banana.