Many of these eggplant fruits in Pangasinan are damaged by fruit borers.
Do you know that planting radish alongside your eggplant will drive the borers away? Yes. That’s what a team of researchers from UP Los Baños found in a research some time back.
The Eggplant Fruit and Stem Borer (SFSB) is the most destructive pest of eggplant. Growers spend a lot of chemical pesticides to control them virtually to no avail. You still buy a lot of fruits in the market, especially in Pangasinan, that are damaged by borers.
The team, headed by Dr. Susan May F. Calaumpang, reported that intercropping radish with eggplant can prevent EFSB infestation. When the eggplant seedlings are planted in the field, radish seeds are also planted in a shallow furrow beside the eggplants. The researchers observed that the eggplants intercropped with radish were least attacked by EFSB.
The effect of the radish was most apparent 9 to 10 weeks after planting, which is the time when the radish is harvestable. With this simple technique of intercropping radish, the farmer can greatly reduce EFSB infestation and he also has a bonus harvest of radish that he can sell.