The Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM) conducted a national retooling workshop on field protocols and operations for the regional implementers of the Department of Agriculture (DA), February 21-24.
“We are using state of the art tools (smart phone, internet, satellite, cloud computing, crop model) in our information system. To optimize the benefits of these tools and to cope with the fast pace of technology development for efficiency, reliability, and easiness, we need to re-equip the skills of our implementers,” Dr. Eduardo Jimmy Quilang, PRISM project leader in PhilRice, stated.
PRISM aims to develop a monitoring and information system for rice production in the Philippines.
Seventy-one (71) participants from the DA regional offices were updated on project protocols on rice monitoring and crop health assessment. Representatives from the DA-field program operational planning division also participated in the workshop to support the sustainability plans for PRISM in the DA.
“Retooling is an annual activity to assess the comprehension of regional implementers on PRISM activities and provide updates on outputs and field protocols for the next season of implementation in 2008,” said Mabel Barroga, science research specialist of PRISM.
On rice monitoring protocols, some of the updates presented were the slight change in leaf area index (LAI) measurement procedure, bund height removal, and complete name of farmers.
On crop health assessments, topics covered were the current tools for weed identification, data collection, management and validation for crop health, problems encountered in data management, and rapid crop health assessments during extreme weather events and pest outbreaks.
Retooling at the regional level
“Through this workshop, the sharing of learning experiences from the regional implementers and national partners serves as an open feedback mechanism for us to better fulfill our roles,” said Rufel Gula, DA focal person from region 8.
The participants are expected to conduct a series of retooling workshops in their respective regions and serve as resource persons for regional data collectors from DA-regional field offices and local government units.
PRISM is a collaborative project of DA, PhilRice, and the International Rice Research Institute. Its development and implementation are funded under the DA’s National Rice Program and managed and monitored by the Bureau of Agricultural Research.