Farmers of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur are now worry-free of the rice black bug (RBB), a pest that can reduce yield by 10-23% at 10 RBB per hill. This is after the local government unit of Esperanza formally turned over 50 units of light trap to all rice-producing barangays in the municipality in support to the community-wide light trapping campaign on March 9, 2018. As to how the light trap works, PhilRice researchers said RBB are strongly attracted to high intensity light. The light trap allows easy collection and management of the pest.
During the turnover, a signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) was also held. The said MOU laid down measures to ensure effective implementation of the light trapping project. Esperanza Mayor Leonida P. Manpatilan thanked PhilRice and other partner-agencies for extending their technical expertise to their farmers. Dr Caesar Joventino M. Tado, acting branch director of PhilRice Agusan, enjoined all farmers of Esperanza to take good care of the light traps. He also hoped that Esperanza would serve as a good example for the rest of the rice-producing municipalities in the province.
The campaign is part of the Rice Business Innovation System (BIS) Community Program led by PhilRice, which aims to help farmers improve their income through the use of high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies, not to mention improved access to market.