PhilRice researchers are developing a virtual farming assistant designed as mobile application for smartphones. AgriDoc App

The AgriDoc App features knowledge links, farm journals, and farm management tools. It can also control advanced instruments in the farm.

“The application has knowledge links where users can search for any information regarding rice farming; a farm journal where users can record their activities and monitor farm inputs; a scheduler to improve farm tasking and sort activities and a diagnostic tool to aid users in managing their farm. All of these can be considered the core function of the app,” said Nehemiah L. Caballong, Information Systems Researcher at PhilRice.

Developers are also working on the app’s ability to monitor and control advanced farming instruments, and collect farm data for users. Prototypes were installed at the FutureRice farm at PhilRice in partnership with Information Systems Division and Climate Change Center.

It includes a water level sensing device which collects real time data and monitors water deficiency in the rice field, a field weather monitoring station to gather weather forecast to warn users with heavy downpours of rain, and an agronomic data sensing device that detects paddy temperature and water and soil ph.

The developers also included drone technology which can be maximized for data collection, tracking growth patterns, and pests and nutrient management through color detection. A CCTV camera is also installed for monitoring and security purposes.

“Our goal here is make the app access these instruments and collect data wherever the user is as long as he is connected to the internet,” Caballong explained.

Marian Rikka O. Añora, field manager of FutureRice farm, said that the app is also helpful for rice extension workers because the rice knowledge bank can also be accessed.

“We hope that as soon as the app will be launched, it will be adopted by progressive rice farmers to help them manage their farm,” Caballong said.

“It can be a model for IT experts or companies to replicate. We want people to know that there are business opportunities when IT and agriculture merge as one,” Caballong added.

The AgriDoc App is funded under the project Improving Technology Promotion and Delivery through Capability Enhancement of Next-Gen Rice Extension Professionals and Other Intermediaries (IPaD) and FutureRice Program. The app is scheduled to be launched next year.

The project won 2nd best poster during the 28th National Rice R&D Conference held at PhilRice, 10 Sept, under the category Technologies, systems, tools, and information for efficient rice-based farming, and reducing climate change effects.

The project is headed by Roger F. Barroga as research consultant and Nehemiah L. Caballong as research implementer.

For more information about the app, call or text the PhilRice Text Center 0920 911 1398.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute