The Provincial Agriculture Office in Negros Oriental is organizing pest monitoring brigades in 13 towns and cities in the province with histories of rice pest and diseases, a Philippine Information Agency press release said.

Selected farmers from these areas will undergo a two-day training after which they will be organized into pest scout brigades.

The creation of pest monitoring brigades is a community-based approach where farmers are utilized as pest scouts in their own fields.

The 13 identified local government units are Bais City, Mabinay, Manjuyod, Bindoy, Bayawan City, Sta. Catalina, Siaton, Zamboanguita, Tanjay City, La Libertad, Tayasan, Canlaon City and Ayungon, the PAO said.

The municipal agriculture officers and the PAO area coordinators said the farmers who went through the Farmers Field School in their areas are the ones who will participate in the trainings.

The resource persons come from the Department of Agriculture- RFU 7 Regional Crop Protection Center and PAO Crops Division along with the provincial coordinator of the Office of Civil Defense.

The 13 brigades to be supervised by the agricultural technologists in the LGUs are expected to form a provincial federation later, the press release said.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is supporting the province-wide trainings after Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo expressed support to the program, the press release added.*