Press Release
February 27, 2009

Loren proposes natural method for pest control

Senator Loren Legarda yesterday urged the Department of Agriculture to propagate the use of natural pest control methods among farmers to prevent harmful pests from ravaging farm crops.

Loren, who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, made the appeal after learning that crops of Ifugao farmers have been devastated by harmful pests after using commercial pesticides.

Loren pressed for the more widespread use of integrated farm management practices as an alternative to the use of pesticides. She cited crop rotation as an effective natural pest control method that would protect farm crops from harmful insects.

"Crop rotation alone can solve many of the pest infestation problems. For example, pests that thrive on palay naturally die when the land is planted with another crop like corn and leafy vegetables," she said.

Loren said she saw no reason why farmers should not resort to natural way of controlling the pests, which she said is cost-effective, because farmers do not have to buy expensive commercial pesticides.

"The less pesticides are used, the better for our environment. As we all know, these chemicals pollute our soil and water table," she said. "In contrast, crop rotation enriches the soil."

"The system also provides additional income opportunities for farmers, since the land is never left idle as one variety of crop is planted after another, like mongo after palay, or cassava after corn."

Most of all, farm produce from the use of natural methods of pest control is healthy to the consumers. "This is the selling point of organic farming in that it doesn't hurt the environment and our health," said Loren, an environmental activist.

Aside from crop rotation, Loren said that farmers can also resort to using organic fertilizers like compost, modified drip irrigation system, light traps and trellises.

Loren made the statement after Ifugao farmers have complained of the attack by "hoppers" on their corn plantation.

It was learned that corn hoppers thrived after helpful insects which were their natural enemies were killed by the excessive use of chemical insecticides and the continuous cropping cycle.

At least 19 hectares of corn farms in the Alfonso Lista town were totally damaged after the corn hoppers ravaged the plants.

News Latest News Feed