Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Philippines: Technoclinic held for farmers in Mountain Province

More than 30 rice farmers from the Cordillera Region in Northern Philippines attended a technoclinic held by IRRI and PhilRice scientists on 13 November 2012 in Barlig, Mountain Province.

Isabelita Oña, IRRI associate scientist, and Evelyn Gergon, PhilRice plant pathologist, answered questions from farmers on blast disease, rice bugs, worms, golden apple snails, leaf folder, birds, and rat infestation.

Samples of rice leaves that are afflicted with different diseases were also passed around to help the farmers familiarize with and identify the different symptoms of rice diseases.

The farmers said that they eat the golden apple snails that they pick from their rice fields to help control their presence. Gergon told them that they can also use the decaying snails to attract rice bugs. They can put the decaying snails in a net and wait for it to be filled with rice bugs, which they can later set on fire.

Also cited by farmers as challenges were unpredictable weather and the lack of organic fertilizers. Like most farmers in the Cordillera Region, farmers in Barlig practice organic farming. The problem, though, is that they require large amounts of sunflower and weeds to fertilize their fields.

The conduct of the technoclinic was part of the provision of technical innovation services or TIS, a linkage that the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) had built with the IFAD-funded Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2).

Participants in the technoclinic came from the villages of Lunas and Macalana, where the lowest point is at 750 masl and the highest is in Mt. Amuyao at 2,862 masl.

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