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The Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers recognized the work of engineers based at Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) during its 61st Annual National Convention in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.

The paper, Regulated deficit irrigation for rice-based watermelon under Ilocos condition of Noel D. Ganotisi, Romel A. Batuac, and Reynaldo C. Castro, was adjudged best paper in irrigation, soil, water, and Geographical Information System (GIS) category. Among the four methods they tested, full irrigation attained the crop’s highest marketable yield while conventional-furrow irrigation gained the lowest water productivity.

On the other hand, Juanito M. Maloom`s Development of a GIS-based model for predicting rice yield garnered second place. His study showed that rice yield could be predicted at early reproductive stage, allowing farmers to adjust nutrient, and water and pest management to achieve desired yield.

Another team, also led by Ganotisi, landed third with their work on Design and development of a Low-cost Drip Irrigation System (LDIS) for rice-based high value crop production.  Results revealed that gravity-type LDIS could save up to a 131 percent, which could not be generated from the conventional-furrow irrigation method.

Meanwhile, the team of Arnold S. Juliano and Ricardo F. Orge won second and third place, respectively, under the renewable energy category.

The paper, Development of a mobile ricehull gasifier engine-pump system of Arnold S. Juliano, Joel A. Ramos, Leo B. Molinawe, and Eulito U. Bautista reported that a lightweight, compact, and rice-hull powered gasifier could save 45 percent more on fuel costs than the existing pumps that have gasoline and diesel engines.

Meanwhile, the continuous-type rice hull carbonizer developed by Ricardo F. Orge and Edwin N. Quiros uses the heat from the production of rice hull biochar for pumping water and recovers the heat from carbonization to be used for crop drying, steam generation, and cooking. The machine is further being developed to save energy and achieve food security while mitigating pollution derived from farm activities.

In addition, Mapping and monitoring rice areas using multi-temporal radar imagery, a study led by Jenny V. Raviz under the project of Jimmy P. Quilang, placed third in the best poster competition.

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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