Midsayap, Cotabato – PhilRice Midsayap trained the Ulamas (muslim religious leaders) in Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to become rice advocates, April 3-7.
In the one-week training, PhilRice equipped 20 Ulamas with technical knowledge on integrated crop management systems, such as the Palayamanan Plus and PalayCheck System. Aside from attending technical lectures, they also conducted field demonstrations of various farming techniques technologies, such as the agroecosystem analysis, alternate wetting and drying, leaf color chart, and Minus-One Element Technique.
“The Ulamas are well-respected. They possess authority that is innate and potent. These characteristics make them a fitting partner in improving the condition of farming communities in ARMM. This agriculture extension service was integrated with Islamic values and beliefs,” said Ommal Abdulkadil, PhilRice Midsayap branch director.
During the graduation ceremony of the Ulamas, Abdulkadil encouraged the religious leaders to share their learning from the training through a farmer-to-farmer approach.
“As a religious leader, I hope to bring positive change to our community by influencing my fellow farmers to use new farming technologies,” said Sukarno Kasuyo, one of the participants.
Abdulkadil said they aim to empower more Ulamas in ARMM.
This initiative of integrating Islamic faith in agriculture extension service was developed by PhilRice Executive Director Sailila Adbula. It received the Best Re-entry Project from the Development Academy of the Philippines’ Middle Managers’ Class 8 in 2016.