Last 15-16 March, IRRI Education organized training on Digital Knowledge and Tools for Precision Farming attended by 29 staff from the Philippine Department of Agriculture Regional Field Offices and attached agencies, State Universities and Colleges, and Local Government Units.
This training aims to provide an overview of available digital knowledge and tools for precision farming as it relates to the rice value chain, its advantages, and the potential in maximizing benefits for researchers, rice farmers, producers, and consumers. The course challenged the participants to examine the inefficiencies along the different components of the value chain that can serve as entry points where digital knowledge and precision farming tools can be applied to address challenges.
In his opening message, Julian Lapitan, Senior Consultant at DA and Technical Adviser at IRRI, reminded the participants of the importance of an avenue or vessel for an innovation to be effective. More so, the importance of bringing these innovations to the intended beneficiaries.
“Our government keeps on investing in capacity development, and this project, we call it SERVE, is a funding from the Philippine government coursed through IRRI so that IRRI with all its prestige and world-class facilities will be able to train Filipino people. You, as I’ve said, are the avenues and vessels. And we want you to develop more your capacities in helping our intended beneficiaries.”
Ending his message, Lapitan, urged the participants to use the learnings that they will gain from the training for a much greater purpose, that is, having an impact on society.
For three days, participants learned about the available technologies and their application in the rice value chain, such as WeRise, RCM, MOET, PRIME, RiceDoctor, and Rice Knowledge Bank; the use of digital agriculture tools in collecting farmer and field information for decision making; and integrating digital knowledge and precision farming tools.
The capacity development training was conducted under the IRRI-DA collaborative project, Strengthening the Capability of the National Research, Development, and Extension Partners for Research, DeVelopment, and Extension of Climate Ready Information and Technologies to Rice-based Farming Communities in the Philippines (SERVE).