by Maya M. Padillo
Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation (TADECO) will be opening its testing and research center to the banana industry soon.
TADECO President Alexander Valoria told Mirror that they invested heavily on the said center to fulfill its commitment to the banana sector.
We invested heavily in that banana laboratory kasi wala tayong national banana research institute and it will be right there in Davao del Norte where the growers can go there for services,” Valoria said.
Valoria said they are opening the laboratory to the industry at competitive price. He said he wanted the rates to be very low so that people can access to the laboratory’s services.
Through the laboratory, they can detect fusarium in a matter of hours compared to three months before they can determine the said banana disease, Valoria said He said they are also doing testing chemicals and soil analysis in the center.
He said they are also doing test, research, and also propagate new banana variety called 218 as solution to panama disease. While there is no precise cure to panama disease they have their own other solutions by coming up a new variety that could resist the panama disease and new farming technique.
“There is no cure to panama disease but we have our own solutions through PBGEA and we have determined the variety that is resistant to panama disease, which is the 218,” Valoria said.
He said planting the new variety even in heavily infected areas their re-currency rate is about 3% only and they have just to plant the 3% again.
He said TADECO continues to expand because it has the solution by using new protocol of planting.
“If you maintained the old variety you will eventually get Panama disease. It takes very long to come up with new variety hindi tayo puwede mag GMO as it is not allowed in our market. It takes a long time to process the right selection and come up with a truly resistant and tolerant as it takes about 10 to 12 years. Although, we are already working on that also,” he said.
He said they have the same experiments done with PBGEA and they are willing to share this with other banana players.