ARMM distributes equipment and gadgets to farming technicians
Cotabato City (August 13, 2015) – The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DAF-ARMM) has distributed personal protective equipment and gadgets worth P427,000 to farming technicians and units of the department’s Integrated Agricultural Research Center (IARC).
Atty. Makmod Mending Jr., DAF-ARMM secretary, led the distribution on Thursday, August 13, at the IARC Central Experiment Station in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. The equipment and gadgets – comprising of rubber boots, weighing scale, moisture meter, laptop, tablets and printers – are funded by the department’s Agri-Pinoy Rice Program.
The program, one of the banner components of the Agriculture department, focuses on rice production and uplifting the lives of the farmers. Guided by the principles of the Agrikulturang Pilipino framework, the National Rice Program integrates government initiatives and interventions for the sector.
The major objectives of the program include food security and self-sufficiency, sustainable resource management, support services from farm to table, and broad-based local partnerships. The program also provides rice farmers specific interventions on technologies and services in order to increase rice yield.
Sec. Mending reiterated that the equipment and gadgets provided will boost the application of the Rice Crop Manager and the Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM). It will also improve, he said, the performance of farm technicians, agri-technologists, and extension officers.
The Rice Crop Manager is an internet-based application that offers rice farming prescriptions on nutrients applications, pest and weeds control, and water management based on the variety of inputs and site-specific conditions.
PRISM is a system that maps out rice growing areas affected by natural calamities and pest outbreaks. It also gathers and organizes information on rice yield and yield gaps. Productivity of rice farmers in the region is expected to rise significantly with the application of modern technology.
Meanwhile, after the distribution of equipment and gadgets, 50 focal persons on organic farming from different provinces of the region joined the Regional Organic Agriculture Stakeholders’ Preliminary Consultation Workshop. The activity is aimed at reviewing the importance of organic agriculture and determining the consensus of the stakeholders in the region on this issue.
The government’s organic agriculture program seeks to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of organic farms through integrated research, extension and education initiatives. (Bureau of Public Information)