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The capacity-building component of the Agricultural Support Component of the National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (NISRIP) has attained 82% completion of the targeted 11 batches for the Training of Trainers (TOT) component.

The TOT has so far taught 190 Agricultural Technologists (ATs) and National Irrigation Sector (NIS) personnel on Integrated Crop Management using the PalayCheck System. Trainings mainly focused on nutrient management, water management, and pest control, which are common areas that need improvement based on Focus Group Discussions conducted by Rice Technicians (RiceTechs) in over 180 Irrigators Associations (IAs) in nine regions.

TOTs for the NIS in Agusan, Bukidnon, Davao del Sur, and Sultan Kudarat are yet to be conducted.

To date, 25 Farmers Field Schools (FFS) have been going on simultaneously for the IAs of Ilocos, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Agusan, Los Banos, Palawan, and Negros, being led by TOT graduates and RiceTechs. Three hectares Participatory Demonstration Farm cum seed production areas have been established per IA.

“Our farmers in Palawan have not started planting yet due to the delay of water service, but they are excited to participate since they know they will use good quality seeds from PhilRice. Another incentive that the farmers are looking forward to is having their soil analyzed which they have not done in the past,” said Richard Romanillos, PhilRice Los Baños Development Coordinator.

Aside from the PalayCheck System, training on the use and maintenance of agricultural machinery will also be included in the FFS by the end of this year. With these reinforcements given to members of target IAs, a prospective Farmer Trainer shall eventually be selected and tapped to further disseminate the technology.

Philippine Rice Research Institute and the National Irrigation Administration are cooperating in realizing the objectives of NISRIP, a project between the Philippine government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with an aim of contributing to the national rice self-sufficiency program, by increasing the yield by at least 1 ton per hectare. JICA and the Philippine government provided funds for the NISRIP.

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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