Provincial Government of Iloilo
28 September 2020 – present
Digitization & New Technologies, and Perspectives on Productivity, Governance, and Development
The Provincial Agri-Fishery Information System – Farmers and Fisherfolks Agri-Fishery Resource System (PAIS-FARMS) collects and consolidates agricultural production data in order to provide key stakeholders with the necessary information to resolve marketing problems during harvest season and enable higher productivity.
Background and Problem
The economy of the Province of Iloilo is dependent on agricultural production, particularly rice and fish. Recent events have provided significant challenges to this, however, in the form of Republic Act No. 11203, also known as the Rice Tariffication Law, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The enactment of RA 11203 has led to an estimated revenue loss of about PHP 80,000,000,000 in 2019 alone, while community quarantine measures beginning in 2020 have constrained supply chains and generated even more massive losses for farmers and fisherfolk in the province,
To help cope with these challenges, the Provincial Government of Iloilo decided to pivot away from dependence on rice subsidies, as has been practiced by other provincial local government units (LGUs), and instead focus on developing a system to manage agricultural production data that would allow for smarter and better-informed decision making in distribution and marketing. The existing Municipal Agricultural Information System (MAIS) developed in Mina, Iloilo, was thus scaled up and implemented on the provincial level.
Solution and Impact
PAIS-FARMS is a computer-based system that gathers data on agricultural production at the barangay level and consolidates the information at the municipal and provincial levels to provide a realistic snapshot of the province’s current situation and capacity that helps in aligning with and addressing market demand. This system is linked with other existing databases managed by the Department of Agriculture, allowing for the effective management of each section of the value chain, from the farmers and fisherfolk to agricultural retailers, credit institutions, processors, and distributors, among others. This results in reduced wastage or oversupply of commodities, minimized dependence on importation, and improved food sufficiency in the province, especially during crises.
The system is able to efficiently and effectively manage agricultural production data through:
- Determining the availability and location of commodities that can be sourced to for consumption, further processing, and export;
- Forecasting production volume to help farmers determine where, when, and what crops to plant or not to plant;
- Matching available and upcoming commodities with the market;
- Tracking extension services already provided to farmers and identify gaps and interventions needed;
- Guiding farmers, associations, cooperatives, agricultural workers, business development workers, business-minded people, government agencies, and other stakeholders in planning, designing, implementing, and monitoring of programs, projects, and services;
- Serving as the benchmark for investors and business-minded people in deciding what, when, and where to invest in agriculture in the province;
- Identifying commodities that have the potential for export processing, with assistance from the academe for research and development; and
- Reducing importation of commodities that can be grown locally through intensive advocacy.
PAIS-FARMS is set for replication in 43 other municipal LGUs within Iloilo, through individual Memoranda of Agreement with the provincial government, covering system installation, data establishment and management, and provision of IT equipment. Royalties are also still to be paid to the Mina LGU, for their role in conceptualizing the original form of the system.
Legislative efforts have also been made to establish an Agricultural Information System similar to PAIS-FARMS at the national level.
Elected government officials toast the launching of PAIS-FARMS in Mina, Iloilo on September 28, 2020
Montemayor, R. (2020, September 6). Winners and losers from the rice tariffication law. Inquirer.Net. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1332019/winners-and-losers-from-the-rice-tariffication-law
PAIS-FARMS Operations Manual. Courtesy of Provincial Government of Iloilo
Panay News. (2020, October 10). Agri-fishery info system to benefit local farmers. https://www.panaynews.net/agri-fishery-info-system-to-benefit-local-farmers/
PICAO. (2020, September 29). Iloilo Launches Internet Tool for Agribusiness. Official Website of Province of Iloilo. http://iloilo.gov.ph/agriculture-and-fisheries-information-technology-computers/iloilo-launches-internet-tool
Toreno, S. M. H. (2020, September 30). Iloilo launches agri-fishery information system. Department of Agriculture, Regional Field Office 6 Website. https://westernvisayas.da.gov.ph