Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz – The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), through its Infomediary Campaign, is training secondary school agriculture teachers on “Climate-smart agriculture and rice production.”
The training, in partnership with the Department of Education’s Technical-Vocational Unit, uses the Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) module developed by the Infomediary Campaign to incorporate climate change as a component of major agriculture subjects in technical-vocational schools.
The training focuses on climate change-ready rice production practices with emphasis on crop diversification and establishment of rice gardens showcasing top varieties in their area.
Teachers are also taught to produce high-quality seeds to address the issue of inadequate access to high-quality seeds in remote rice-farming communities.
The module was developed in 2014 through a partnership between PhilRice through its Infomediary Campaign and CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.
The training started on April 6 and will end on May 8. Teachers from 100 TecVoc schools nationwide as well as some non-TecVoc schools were invited to participate.
“We hope that massive informative awareness on CSA can be made possible through this initiative. We already have thousands of infomediaries nationwide. We are eager to increase their number,” said Jaime A. Manalo IV, Infomediary Campaign lead.
Since the national implementation of Infomediary in 2013, the Infomediary team has been providing training and technical assistance to secondary school agriculture teachers in teaching rice production.
His team’s study on high school students’ knowledge and understanding on climate change in relation to agriculture confirms that young people are aware of the threats that it can bring to food production, particularly on rice. Surveyed students considered extreme dryness of the land as the most observable change happening in the rice field.
“The training, through the help of secondary school agriculture teachers, will help enrich the knowledge of students’ knowledge and understanding of the effects of climate change on rice production,” Manalo said.
“We also aim to bring back the love for science of rice farming among young people and convince them to consider agriculture when they enter the university,” he added.