Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Nov. 5, 2000 Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand ‘Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is waging war against the Golden Kuhol (snail), considered to be the biggest pest in the province’s rice fields.
Marcos said Ilocos Norte farmers have been losing P50-million annually from snail infestation. Ironically, the pest was originally introduced as a livelihood and food production project of his late father’s administration.
The governor created an anti-Golden Kuhol task force composed of experts from the Department of Agriculture, PhilRice Institute, National Irrigation Administration, Agri-Training Institute of the Mariano Marcos State University and the Capitol Special Project Office.
Marcos allocated P2-million for research and information dissemination, and projects to reduce losses from infested crops by at least 20 percent.
“We could recoup the P2-million invested in research if we save P10 million worth of crops from being ravaged by the Golden Snail,” Marcos explained.
The anti-snail program, using a totally non-chemical, ecology-friendly approach, is expected to make a dramatic impact an eradicate the snails in 3 years.
Assistant provincial agriculturist Norma Lagmay said the program will let lose 50 heads of duck for every hectare of infested farm. The fowl will devour the snals and at the same time provide meat, eggs and a profitable sideline for farmers.
The ducks will be supplemented with bamboo sticks planted between rice plants, which the snails will climb as their sanctuary and for egg-laying. Manual collection of the snails and their eggs would be simplified by their bamboo stakes, Lagmay said. Collected snails would be used as duck feed.
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