The equipment was turned over to representatives of the CyberVillage project by Maria Victoria Agorilla, Lenovo country general manager and officer of the InfoCom Technology Association of the Philippines or ITAPhil.
The Philippine CyberVillage project is the short name for "Enhancing Knowledge Exchange and Decision-making among Rice Stakeholders through the Development and Promotion of Location-Specific Rice Knowledge Products and Delivery Systems,” which aims to teach farmers to use information and communication technology (ICT) tools to improve their access to farming advise and rice research products, and thus improve their livelihood.
The project uses at least three ICT tools to inform extension workers and farmers about better farm management practices:
• The Pinoy Rice Knowledge Bank (www.pinoyrkb.com/), a repository of science-based information on rice run by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice);
• The IRRI Rice Doctor (http://knowledgebank.irri.org/RiceDoctor) to assess rice crop diseases and explain relevant management options; and
• The Nutrient Manager for Rice, a fertilizer management program developed by IRRI that provides location-specific recommendations via the Internet and as an app on Android smartphones (http://webapps.irri.org/nm/nmtutorial/).
IRRI has partnered with the local government units of eight municipalities (Batac, Ilocos Norte; Apalit, Pampanga; Victoria, Laguna; Infanta, Quezon; Banay-Banay, Davao Oriental; Kabacan, North Cotabato; and Dingle and Oton, Iloilo—a total of 39 barangays) and several NGOs, regional and local state colleges and universities, and rice research institutions in the country.
"The donation demonstrates the working partnership between ITAPhil and IRRI in helping accelerate the impact of rice research and technologies that are crucial in improving the livelihood of rice farmer-cooperators in our pilot CyberVillage. Farmer-cooperators who will use these computers will surely be very pleased and inspired to move the project along in its aim of getting relevant rice information and technologies to farmers through these ICT tools," said Julian Lapitan, senior manager of IRRI's National Programs Relations.
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