PhilRice’s branch in Midsayap, North Cotabato was awarded as the 2015 Best Station, an annual internal competition among the seven branch stations of the Institute across the country.
The 94-ha station was cited for a very informative farmers’ field day and forum in September 2015 which gathered over 700 farmers from southwestern Mindanao. It was also lauded for good governance.
Dr. Sailila E. Abdula, acting branch director, believes that this recognition can be attributed to capacity-building efforts for the 112 staff who serve as the backbone of rice R&D initiatives of the station.
Abdula said that the strategic development plan on ecological R&D programs for southwestern Mindanao is already in the pipeline. Strengthening partnerships and infrastructure development will be their key focus areas.
“As a research institution, we want to develop and give direction to a biotechnology center for Mindanao,” Abdula said referring to a molecular laboratory that is expected to be completed this year.
Also in 2015, the station was recognized by the local government unit for its community development efforts through rice R&D. Recently, Midsayap was awarded as one of the top rice-producing municipalities in the Philippines by the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Meanwhile, PhilRice Agusan and Batac won the 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. They were also recognized for continued innovation and technology promotion.
“The Best Station Award shows our culture of continuous improvement that reflects innovation, invention, and discovery,” said Dr. Eduardo Jimmy P. Quilang, deputy executive director for research and project leader of the contest.
Quilang added that this is also a way to demonstrate what the Institute promotes on integration, intensification, and diversification in rice and rice-based farming systems to help increase farmers’ income.
One of the major criteria of the contest is the performance of the branches in its R&D initiatives (60%). It mainly evaluated a station’s adoption and promotion of the Intensified Rice-Based AgriBioSystems (IRBAS) Program that aims to increase farm productivity and address food security.
The R&D criterion also looked into a station’s level of mechanization, varietal demo, client satisfaction, innovation, and execution of a clean, green, practical, and smart rice farming systems.
Organization and management (40%) was the second major criterion which evaluated a station’s adherence to the Institute’s Integrated Management Systems (IMS) standards in its internal systems and processes. Leadership, income generation, linkages, and networks were also looked into.
Personalities and experts from various fields served as the judges of the competition. The group was composed of Dr. Rex Navarro (development communication, R&D management), Dr. Genaro San Valentin (crop management), Engr. Donald Mateo (agricultural machinery), and Ms. Thelma Padolina (plant breeding).