TAGUDIN, ILOCOS SUR – For the country to attain increased rice output in the coming years, the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in Batac recently trained 28 farmer-leaders and agriculture technicians to use decision support tools in crop management.
During the training, farmers and agriculture technicians learned the use of Minus-One Element Technique (MOET) and ICT-based tools and apps such as MOET, Leaf Color Chart, and Rice Crop Manager. They also learned the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which includes Agroecosystems Analysis (AESA).
“Decision support tools are crucial for farmers to make informed decisions, specifically in pest and nutrient management, for a more productive, profitable, and sustainable rice farming,” Hazel Jane M. Orge, officer-in-charge of DA-PhilRice Batac, said.
Alfredo Larioza, one of the trainees, shared that he learned pest management principles in this training that was facilitated in collaboration with the Tagudin Local Government Unit.
“I’ve been farming for almost 50 years already, and it was only in this training that I have learned the appropriate way to apply pesticides. I have also understood the importance of identifying insect pests and natural enemies and how to manage them,” the 76-year-old farmer said.
Meanwhile, Agricultural Technician Mary Jane Aguilar said that the knowledge she gained would aid her in addressing the concerns of the rice farmers in their locality.
“It will now be easier for us to respond to the queries of our farmers, and we can also impart to them the concept of proper nutrient management – right element, amount, and timing,” Aguilar said.
The five-day training was funded by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Extension Services Program, a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) authored by Sen Cynthia A. Villar. The RTL allocates P1 billion every year to enhance the capacities of rice farmers to become competitive in rice production. For more information about the program, queries can be sent toDA-ATI thru 0920 946 2474.