Friday, January 29, 2016

Agri students inspired to be modern day heroes

Jerome Barradas of the IRRI Training Center speaks to CMU faculty and
students about different ICT tools for farmers.
BUKIDNON, Philippines – “In agriculture, everyone can be a hero.” This is the catchphrase of Why AgRiCOOLture?, a series of knowledge-sharing and -learning (KSL) activities organized by Project IPaD in Philippine agricultural universities and rice farming communities this year. The recent KSL activity was conducted on 28-29 January at the Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Maramag, Bukidnon.

The 2-day activity gathered hundreds of faculty and students of agriculture in the university town to encourage their commitment in helping the country’s rice farmers. Through this event, the participants were introduced to different information and communication technology (ICT) tools such as the IRRI Rice Knowledge Bank, the Pinoy Rice Knowledge Bank, the e-ExtensionPortal, and different farmer text centers. Demonstrations on several farming decision tools, such as the Rice Doctor, Rice Crop Manager, the Minus One Element Technique and App, and the Weed ID were also conducted.

These ICT tools were developed by the International RiceResearch Institute (IRRI), the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), and the DA-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI).

Thelma Padolina, one of PhilRice’s accomplished plant breeders, gave a talk on recent achievements in rice breeding. She inspired the students to be “heroes” for agriculture in their own way.

The series ended with a commitment ceremony. Participants were asked to access the social media and, using the hashtags #RiceUpPH and #ProjectIPaD, to post statements about how they could be heroes for agriculture. In addition, a commitment wall was set up, on which the students were encouraged to post their plans of action to help the cause.

The Why AgRiCOOLture? series was organized by Project IPaD, in collaboration with the CMU Plant Breeding and Agronomy Students Society, with help from the CMU International Relations Office.

IPaD is a collaborative project among PhilRice, DA-ATI, and IRRI, with funding support from the Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR). It aims to improve promotion and delivery of rice technologies by enhancing the capability of the next generation of extension professionals and other knowledge intermediaries.
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