To protect mature mango trees from disease and insect infestations, growers in the Philippines in provinces such as Batangas, Laguna, Pangasinan, Davao and Cebu used to be heavy users of crop protection products. Spray applicators would regularly climb the trees with equipment to apply products. Accidents involving workers falling from trees and sustaining injuries were common, as was heavy exposure to pesticide.
To improve safety for spray applicators, CropLife Philippines partnered with the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority between 2006 and 2008 to develop an innovative crop protection product applicator. The extendable pole, made from either bamboo or aluminum alloy, enables spray applicators to spray mango trees from the ground. The partners have documented the methodology in a training handbook to benefit the industry, applicators and growers.
In addition to creating the extendable pole for spray applicators, the partners also launched training initiatives on Good Agricultural Practices, including Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is an effective and environmentally friendly method of controlling pests. Farmers have learnt how to identify plant diseases and insect infestation levels and make decisions on the type and amount of pesticide to use by following the exact instructions on the product labels.
Visit www.croplifeasia.org to learn more about work towards sustainable agriculture across the Asia Pacific region.