Apr. 11, 2018
Philippine agrochemical company Jocanima Corporation recently launched Banadak, which is being touted as a potential “game-changer” in crop protection and disease control as a first activator of natural defenses of banana plant.
The chemical is an innovative biostimulant that has been specifically developed by Spanish firm Sustainable Agro Solutions, S.A. (SAS) to treat and control Black Sigatoka of Banana, a disease caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis.
The Black Sigatoka fungus is considered as the most destructive leaf disease that attacks the banana plant.
Once the plant is hit by the fungus, it exhibits severe black leaf streaking or spotting which affects the photosynthesis capacity of the leaves.
Mindanao’s banana growers have been fighting Black Sigatoka for many years. It reached a point wherein experts warned that the disease could bring down the island-region’s banana industry if left unaddressed.
Soon after, industry players came up with more effective and sustainable methods to contain the disease, leading to the industry’s eventual recovery.
Arthur Mago, Jocanima general manager, cites five reasons why Banadak should be the product of choice of Mindanao’s banana growers, especially for those who are looking for safer and more cost-efficient methods of pest and disease management.
“First, it (Banadak) reduces the chemical load used by companies. Second, it reduces the cost of production. And third, it serves a form of resistance management,” Mago explained in an interview at the company’s Davao office.
“Fourth, the product is widely known for its safety. And fifth, it can work alone, or in combination with other pesticides, which makes it very versatile,” he added.
On the other hand, Nestor Fabellar, head of Jocanima’s plantation product development, points out that Banadak could be considered by users as their crop’s “first line of defense” against Black Sigatoka.
“You could say that It’s somewhere between the category of contact and systemic pesticides,” explained Fabellar, who has observed up close how Banadak and what makes it an effective bio-stimulant.
But he said that what makes the product distinct is its ability to unleash the natural defense system of the banana plant, which makes it a logical choice for growers who want to cut down on pesticide use.
Erwin Galon, Jocanima’s product development manager, revealed that the Jocanima has already conducted field tests of the product and the results have been very promising.
He said that a major multinational company has tested the product and so far has been satisfied with the results.
Galon said that Banadak will be commercially available very soon.