National agricultural research and extension system (NARES) in the Philippines presented their sustainability plans for the Weather-Rice-Nutrient Integrated decision support system (WeRise). The plans were presented during a virtual and on-site Handover Ceremony and Sustainability Workshop on 09 March 2021.
WeRise is a digital tool for rainfed rice farmers adapted for the Philippines by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) with funding from Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS). The project is implemented by IRRI, Department of Agriculture (DA)-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and JIRCAS. WeRise provides advisories on the best time to plant and apply fertilizer using suitable varieties based on weather conditions, crop growth, selected farm characteristics, and management practices. The advisories are web-based and can be accessed through a computer or smartphone three months before the cropping season. This gives farmers sufficient time to allocate limited resources such as capital, labor, and inputs and plan for upcoming cropping seasons.
The participants presented activities related to scaling up use of the tool, further validation in additional locations, increasing awareness of the tool, and institutionalizing WeRise through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund and Smarter Rice Program Package of Technologies for rainfed rice areas. PhilRice Deputy Executive Director for Research, Eduardo Jimmy Quilang also suggested the “Popularize, Sustain and Scale through Partnerships” approach, which served as the framework of the sustainability plans used by some DA regional and municipal offices.