Press Releases

Salceda seeks DA urgent help for Albay farmers vs rice tungro virus infestation

April 24th, 2021

Legazpi City – Albay Second District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda has urgently asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) to control the infestation of rice tungro virus (RTV) in at least three towns of Albay’s third district, which has already ravaged about 1,000 hectares of rice fields as of Saturday.

Salceda, quoting recent reports from municipal agriculturists, said the infestations have so far affected about 375 hectares in his hometown Polangui, 221 in Libon, and 186.5 in Oas, mostly in their delicate reproductive stage. The neighboring towns are considered part of the rice granary of Albay.

Salceda, chair of the House Ways and means committee, had immediately notified Agriculture Secretary William Dar and asked for “initiatives to control and manage the infestation”.

“They are the rice granaries of Albay. I seek immediate assistance for the affected farmers and for measures to preempt its contagion. Should funds are required, I will help secure the funding,” said Salceda, in a text message to Dar.
Dar, in turn, had promised to immediately act on the Congressman’s request.

The DA in Bicol had earlier alerted rice farmers in Albay, especially in the third district, against tungro, a disease usually carried by the green leafhopper. The leaves of infected rice plants usually turn to yellow orange in color, which start in clusters spreading around neighboring plants.

The DA said it has initially provided the Libon some 20 liters of insecticide to be sprayed in the affected areas, which could initially cover 80 hectares.

Salceda said farmers have raised concerns the infestation could spread and bring untold damage if it is not immediately stopped. Most of the plantations were not insured and local prices of palay were down to P13.50 per kilo, as against the cost of farm inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. END

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