Wednesday, December 18, 2019

IRRI-PhilRice-JIRCAS collaborative research project holds end-season review with farmer cooperators

Photo by Job Ramos (PhilRice)
A total of 30 farmer cooperators (FCs) actively shared their experiences in the end-season reviews of the IRRI-PhilRice-JIRCAS collaborative research project (IPJCRP) in Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan, and Miagao. The FCs have been participating in the Weather-rice-nutrient Integrated Decision Support System (WeRise) on-farm experiments since 2017.

WeRise enables data-driven decision support for rainfed rice systems through science-based weather and crop advisories including the best time to plant and apply fertilizer as well as the suitable varieties/possible varietal combinations for planting to maximize the entire cropping season. It integrates localized seasonal climate predictions and real-time weather data with a crop growth model. Under the IPJCRP, WeRise is being developed to suit the conditions of Philippine rainfed rice areas.

Among the major activities of the project are field validations implemented in collaboration with FCs and Municipal Agriculture Offices (MAOs) under the Local Government Units.
Mr. Francis Gonzaga, Cabatuan OIC Municipal Agriculturist noted the importance of a scientific approach in decision-making and the FCs’ role in technology development. “Farming is primarily decision-making. WeRise is a scientific approach. In the future, others will benefit. Without you, nobody will say the technology is good.”

Dr. Keiichi Hayashi, JIRCAS project leader, thanked the farmers for their participation and encouraged them to give constructive feedback for WeRise’s further improvement. During the discussions, FCs mentioned that by knowing WeRise predictions, they can decide the type of crop establishment they will do (dry or wet direct seeding).

Women FCs share their experiences on using WeRise
in Cabatuan, Iloilo.
Some farmers also tried applying the predictions in their other fields. However, while there were areas where WeRise’s recommended sowing date coincided with rainfall, there were also areas which did not have rain. The project implementers are now looking into providing sowing window instead of just a single date.

The meetings were co-organized with the MAOs. Field validations in Region 3 (Tarlac and Nueva Ecija) are also being conducted.

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