Banana farmers in Davao del Norte express their optimism on the potentials of the GCTCV 219 (Giant Cavendish tissue-culture variant) as alternative to Cavendish banana variety.

During the farmers’ field day held in Aguiluz farm in Barangay Tanglaw, B. E. Dujali, Davao del Norte on Tuesday, farmers said the GCTCV 219 is the best alternative to resist Fusarium Wilt or Panama Disease.

It is also sweeter than those of Grande Naine and they had significantly higher starch levels (which convert into sugars during ripening), more titratable solids and fewer acids.

The farmers who have not yet  tried planting the said variety also expressed their willingness to plant the variety since its fruit is accepted in the international and in the local market.

One of them is Rodolfo Gameng, a banana farm owner in Tubod Carmen, Davao del Norte said that 50 percent of his five hectare land was infected to Fusarium wilt leading him to shift into corn.

But with several consultations he attended about the use of GCTCV 219, Gameng decided to plant the 219 in 2016.

“I have seen that it is very effective (alternate) and there is really a market for this variety,” Gameng added.  

Meanwhile,  Carme Leogy Aguiluz, farmer and owner of Aguiluz farm, said they have tried 219 in July 2014 and had their first harvest in May this year.

Just in time for the field day, they already had their fifth harvest on the said variety.

“The 219 is a very effective variety combating Fusarium Wilt. Since we planted it last year, we have proven that it is really resistant to the disease,” Aguiluz said.

Aguiluz further said, “I am thankful to the Department of Agriculture [DA] for helping us combat the disease. Without your help it may be impossible for us to cope up with the destruction of the said disease.”

For this year, the DA allocated P102 million for management and control of banana Fusarium Wilt.

Out of the P102 million, 47 percent of which will be downloaded to the province of Davao del Norte for appropriate interventions, disease control and management, regulatory measures, and information dissemination. 

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