(BOGOR, Indonesia, 24 July) — The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) took a significant step towards transforming rice farming in Indonesia with its Rice Crop Manager (RCM) Indonesia project through an online training program on the RCM Baseline Survey Questionnaire. The training, held on 20- 21 July via Zoom, aimed to equip 31 participants from both Badan Standarisasi Instrumen Pertanian (BSIP) and IRRI with the necessary skills to conduct a comprehensive baseline assessment to enhance dissemination and adoption.
The RCM Indonesia project is dedicated to improving the livelihoods of rice farmers across Indonesia by developing an enhanced version of the existing Rice Crop Manager/Layanan Konsultasi Padi (LKP) initially conceptualized in 2015. As a vital aspect of this initiative, the project focuses on capacity building and conducting a baseline survey to assess farmers' existing capacity and constraints.
"The baseline survey is important for the RCM Indonesia project. It will provide a basis for us to assess if we are able to make changes. Even a slight improvement in the lives of Indonesian rice farmers will matter," said Dr. Sheetal Sharma, IRRI Senior Scientist, and RCM Indonesia Project Lead.
The two-day online training covers crucial topics such as cropping patterns, landholding, climate risk, agricultural practices, fertilizer management, irrigation techniques, weed and pest management, disease control, harvesting techniques, and attitudes toward digital technology use in agriculture.
Arelene Julia Malabayabas, Associate Scientist Agricultural Economist who served as one of the facilitators, emphasized the importance of training saying, "This training is crucial in giving our interviewers good insight or understanding of the RCM baseline survey questionnaire, which is essential for gathering credible data on farmers' rice production practices (specifically on fertilizer management), awareness, and willingness to use digital tools."
Ume Humaedah, a member of the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team at BSIP, shared her positive experience, "The training was very interesting and insightful. The explanation given by the IRRI team was very detailed. During the training, participants had the chance to discuss and provide input on the questionnaire, adjusting it with field conditions. The data to be collected is very detailed, requiring a deeper understanding of the questions and the data to be collected in the field."
With the successful completion of the online training program, IRRI and BSIP are now well-equipped to conduct the baseline survey, laying the groundwork for the transformation of rice farming in Indonesia and enhancing the livelihoods of rice farmers in the region.
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