Home' Partners : Partners January 2013 Contents Rodillo Candido is the farmer from Davao del
Norte who won the Best Farmer award in the
2008 Annual Durian Festival, and won again in
2009, in the Best Formed Fruit category. Despite
the awards and consistent good production, his
farm was not spared as Phytophthora gradually
encroached into his orchard.
After attending a stakeholder workshop
organised by the Philippines Horticulture
Program, Mr Candido agreed to participate in trials
led by Professor David Guest of the University of
Sydney to learn more about durian production
and how to solve his Phytophthora problem.
"Our objective is to improve the health of
the tree by managing its pests and disease
because the farmers are more interested
in producing a lot of durian and jackfruit,"
Professor Guest says.
Chicken dung and selected micro-organisms
applied at the base of Mr Candido's durian trees
proved effective, promoting better growth and
no new infections compared with untreated
trees. In addition to his usual management
practices, other strategies such as collection
of infected fruit and improved drainage were
trialled and also proved effective. Flowering also
occurred earlier and yield was higher.
After the intervention, his 126 trees bore
more than 5.5 tonnes of durian, which was
1 tonne higher than the previous season.
Another significant result was the field
testing of the ground seeds of a common local
garden flower, African balsam (Impatiens spp.).
This natural and readily available remedy
has shown strong efficacy and control of
Phytophthora when applied as a paste onto the
diseased areas of the tree.
BUILDING A SANCTUARY FOR CROPS
Yet another branch of the Philippines
Horticulture Program is helping farmers plant
crops during the wet season, particularly on
the Philippine islands of Leyte and Samar,
when from June to February heavy rains and
damaging winds can destroy vegetable crops.
The project has important socioeconomic
benefits for vegetable farmers such as Noel
Morales from Leyte in the Visayas region.
Previously during the wet season, Mr Morales
found non-farm work to earn a living, since
heavy rain affects the highland vegetable farms
in Cabintan, Ormoc City, where Mr Morales
manages his parents' 6 ha plot.
The solution was to use protected crop
production systems and structures, an
approach already being used by project
collaborator the Visayas State University.
On a parcel of Mr Morales's farm, tomatoes
were grown under structures designed and
built from cheap, locally sourced materials,
such as bamboo and coco lumber. Best cultural
management practices such as fertilisation,
irrigation, pest monitoring and control were
applied. Under the structure, drip irrigation and
plastic mulch were installed.
The structures protected the crops from
heavy rains while nets around the structures
barred strong winds and insects. This meant
pesticide use was reduced, while losses from
severe fruit fly and fruit worm damages were
The result was a remarkable increase in yield
of high-quality, marketable fruits. Marketable
yield more than doubled compared with
production in the open field.
For the broader community the potential is
great for protected cropping to expand in the
region and to supply a high-value commodity:
pesticide-free vegetables that reach markets at
a time of year when production has traditionally
These simple, low-cost production systems
are now being replicated by other organisations
involved in community development on the
islands of Leyte and Samar. n
PROJECT 1: HORT/2007/067 -- Improved
domestic profitability and export
competitiveness of selected fruit value chains
in the southern Philippines and Australia
PROJECT 2: HORT/2007/066 -- Enhanced
profitability of selected vegetable value
chains in the southern Philippines and
CONTACT: Les Baxter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Since adopting protected crop structures Noel Morales
has been able to earn a living from his farm, rather than
rely on labouring for others for an income.
PARTNERS SUMMER 2013
A branch of the Philippines Horticulture Program is helping farmers,
particularly on the islands of Leyte and Samar, build structures from cheap,
local materials to protect crops during the wet season.
The clustering approach
A cluster is a group of agencies that work
together towards common developmental
objectives. The cluster approach is designed
to strengthen effectiveness, response
capacity, coordination and accountability
by strengthening partnerships in key
sectors of a humanitarian response. In
2006, it was made part of the United
Nations Humanitarian Reform process to
improve coordination while enhancing
partnerships among different sectors,
including aid agencies and non-government
An agricultural cluster is a geographical
concentration of farmers and their
associated agribusinesses and institutions
that are networked to build value to a
particular agricultural product by addressing
common challenges and pursuing common
opportunities. The agricultural cluster not
only creates production volume to attract
buyers, but can also develop cooperation
within the cluster group and across their
network that can lead to innovations and
sustainability. In the Philippines, ACIAR and
partner organisations have been facilitating
the development of agricultural clusters.
PHOTO: JOHN OAKESHOTT
PHOTO: GORDON ROGERS
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