More than a thousand farmers were encouraged to try the farming apps developed by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) during its farmers’ field day in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, March 29-30.
Called Lakbay Palay, the two-day event introduced Leaf Color Chart (LCC) mobile application for nutrient management, Binhing Palay for variety selection, and eDamuhan for weed management, drone, machines, and recommended new varieties.
Jeremy Turla of Dinalupihan, Bataan, first-time participant, said he is “amazed by the new farming technologies.”
“I’m excited to try these technologies and see if these can improve our yield. Our average harvest is 4t/ha,” the 22-year-old young farmer said.
Bantay Palay App, which won the Digirati Award by the Asian Institute of Digital Transformation, was also launched to help farmers in selling their produce at best price. The app provides real-time market prices of newly-harvested rice in the farmers’ area.
Meanwhile, previous participants also shared their experiences on the farming apps and were able to understand more the information learned during their first visit.
“Thanks to the recommendations I accessed from the mobile apps, my yield increased to more than 6t/ha,” Noel Yerro of Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, said.
“It’s my second time here but there’s still a lot to learn! I learned the right combination of organic and inorganic fertilizer and the Minus-One-Element Technique (MOET),” Gemma Askew of Dinalupihan, Bataan said.
MOET kit, a crop diagnostic tool that determines soil nutrient deficiency, is complemented by an app that provides the right amount, combination, and type of fertilizer to be applied.
With the theme, “RCEF, ano na?,” this dry season’s Lakbay Palay also provided the venue for rice growers to share their experiences on the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.