In 2015, corn and eggplant farmers in Brgy. Masaya, Rosario in Batangas had good harvests without resorting to chemical pesticides to control insect pests. How? By releasing wasps called Trichogramma that parasitize the eggs of destructive insects.
Our friend Pat Dugan who has a farm in Rosario wrote us to commend the Crop Protection Unit of the Bureau of Plant Industry. Why? Because the staff of the unit were producing regular supplies of two Trichogramma species, one for corn and the other for eggplant and other vegetables.
How does Trichogramma work? Trichogramma is a small winged wasp that deposits its eggs inside the eggs of other insects that are destructive to crops like army worm, corn borer, corn earworm, tomato hornworm, etc. When the Trichogramma egg hatches, its larva consumes the egg of the harmful insects. Thus the pest is controlled before it becomes a larva that damages the plant.
The larva of Trichogramma will eventually become an adult that will again parasitize the eggs of harmful insects. The Trichogramma wasp, by the way, does not damage crops.
The Department of Agriculture should allocate enough funds for all Crop Protection Units of the BPI all over the country to produce regular supplies of Trichogramma for farmers