A monitoring system developed for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program is awarded as the country’s Best in Future of Connectedness in the 2022 Future Enterprise Awards by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC, a global provider of market intelligence and advisory and information and communications technology (ICT)-related services, said the “award is given to organizations who transformed their system digitally to ensure that people, things, applications and processes are connected to make possible seamless flow of data and drive target outcomes.”

First developed in Sept. 2020, the seed monitoring system was designed for the RCEF Seed Program monitor its operations near real-time. It was deployed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and was proven helpful in ensuring the continuous delivery and distribution of certified seeds from the program to the farmer-beneficiaries despite community lockdowns and quarantine restrictions.

The system hosts web-based and mobile applications such as the drop-off point maker, delivery and inspection app, web dashboard, distribution app, Binhi e-Padala, and monitoring and evaluation dashboards. These are used by the program’s field operations and planning personnel, seed inspectors, seed growers’ cooperatives and associations, and the local agriculture offices in seed allocation and variety planning, pre-positioning of seeds, delivery and inspection, distribution, and tracking of seed inventories.

“Yearly, the RCEF Seed Program distributes around 3.4 million bags of certified seeds to about one million farmers. Through our seed monitoring system, we can now consolidate and analyze big data faster and more efficiently. The insights we generate here are utilized for policy and decision-making processes. It also allowed us to provide valuable updates to our oversight committees and other stakeholders, which are critical to transparency, accountability, and good governance,” said Dr. Flordeliza H. Bordey, director of the RCEF Program Management Office based at the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute.

She also said they aim to continuously seek to provide more meaningful and efficient services to rice farmers by strengthening their ICT infrastructure, developing a competent human resource, and cultivating an enabling environment through digital transformation.

Currently, the Information Technology team led by Arturo Arocena and Jonathan Palileo is expanding the seed monitoring system to cover the program’s components such as the PalaySikatan technology demonstration and the generation of site-specific fertilizer recommendations.

According to the IDC, all country winners in the different categories qualify for the regional Asia/ Pacific regional competition, which will happen during the IDC Digital Transformation Summit and Future Enterprises Awards on Oct. 26.

The RCEF Seed Program is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, which allocates P3 billion fund every year to develop, propagate and promote high-quality rice seeds to help improve the competitiveness of the Filipino rice farmers. LGUs and lawmakers assist in its implementation.

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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