Thursday, April 3, 2014

PRISM and RIICE: Back to back workshops in March

Three workshops namely, Philippine Rice Information SysteM (PRISM) Kickoff, PRISM Training of Crop Health Trainers,  and Remote sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies  (RIICE ) were held on 19-21 March, 25-28 March, and 24-26 March, respectively.

The PRISM kickoff workshop aimed to inform stakeholders, collaborators and relevant agencies about the PRISM project, address concerns, and identify potential opportunities to engage with other projects or programs.  More than 100 participants from DA and its regional offices, PhilRice, and IRRI went to SEARCA to attend the event on the first two days and about 25 at IRRI on the third day.

Regional directors were present during the first day. The second day was devoted to PRISM focal persons and PhilRice participants in defining regional agendas, planning for capacity building, and fieldwork activities with the help of DA-Phil Rice, IRRI, and the DA Regional Field Offices (RFOs). The third day was focused on the development of a 2014-2015 project roadmap together with DA-PhilRice and IRRI.

The PRISM Training of Crop Health Trainers workshop was conducted to teach participants from Philippine Regional Department of Agriculture offices the methods used for crop health data collection as a part of the Crop Health Monitoring portion of PRISM. Forty-three individuals from seven regions (CAR, Region III, Region IV-A, Region IV-B, Region V, Region VI, Region VII, Region VIII, and IRRI as well as PhilRice) were involved.

The first two days covered how to accurately diagnose and identify rice diseases, weeds and insect injuries, and how to use the IRRI Crop Health Survey Portfolio followed by identification tests using live plants. The third day covered the use of electronic gadgets to collect in-field information for the Survey Portfolio with an in-field exercise conducting the IRRI Crop Health Survey. On Friday, the last day, participants practiced delivering the presentations that were used in the training so that they canbecome more familiar with the materials that they will be using to train the field observers that will be collecting data in their respective regions.

The  RIICE workshop was held in IRRI with the following objectives: 1) for national partners to present their work to date and share experiences, including presentations from each partner, journal publication planning, and trouble-shooting sessions on key technologies in the RIICE project, 2) develop country specific work plans for monitoring, field activities and training in 2014/15, 3) brainstorm and plan for 2014 in-country workshops to present RIICE to key government stakeholders and obtain government level support for RIICE, and 4) identify possible opportunities to collaborate with other agencies or key stakeholders, in all RIICE countries using examples from Thailand (GISTDA) and the Philippines (IRRI/GIZ/Philippines).
Each partner was requested to provide and present their 2013 field monitoring data, rice mapping and accuracy assessment results to the project.

Participants from Cambodia (Cambodia Agricultural Research and Development Institute),  India (Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Agricultural Insurance Company of India) , Indonesia (Indonesian Center for Agricultural Land Resources Research and Development), Philippines (Philippine Rice Research Institute, and Philippine Crop Insurance corporation), Thailand (Thailand Rice Department), and Vietnam (Can Tho University and  Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology & Environment) were joined by participants from Sarmap, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and IRRI.

These workshops were facilitated by Andy Nelson (RIICE) and Adam Sparks (PRISM).


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