The project aims to facilitate the delivery and adoption of pest management technologies (PMTs) to selected Irrigation Associations (IAs) in the Caraga region. Specifically, the project seeks to generate the following:
- To equip/capacitate the Officers of IAs on PMTs through training, and disseminate their acquired knowledge to other members of their IAs;
- To gather the farming profile/characteristics of the selected IAs;
- Develop brochure on the use of PMTs in rice production that is appropriate to their community; and
- To apply PMTs knowledge to other IA members as facilitated by the trained officers of IAs.
Background and Problem
The Crop Protection Division (CPD) of the PhilRice is mandated to develop pest management strategies that are effective, practical, economical and environment-friendly. The development of these PMTs for the rice farmers is one of CPD’s success indicators in attaining a high performing or outstanding division of PhilRice. Tied up to this indicator is the division’s outcome that envisions the increasing adoption of PMTs by the rice farmers. The problem analysis showed the causes of unsustainability of most agricultural interventions, especially PMTs, in the Caraga region. Devolution of Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs), limited access to technologies/trainings, top to bottom approach in crafting agricultural programs, and low or non-involvement of officers of IAs cum farmer trainer in the area were the identified causes of the problem.
Solution and Impact
To address the problem and its effect on rice farm productivity and profitability, the project intended to establish a collaborative approach in solving pest problems in the field. This approach will provide an avenue for each partner agencies to complement its resources in order to strengthen its linkages with each other to help the rice farmers.
As a result of the implementation of the initiative, the project advocated a unified system as an alternative to the apparently fragmented approach of the Philippine government in ensuring available food (rice) for the Filipino people. The institutionalization of the collaborative approach proposed by the project would ensure a more decisive rice crop management system in preventing crop losses due to pests. However, constant and sustainable interaction among partner agencies and the IA officers with its members (rice farmers) in ensuring the right decision in any rice production activity should be carefully taken into account to prevent pest problems occurrence in the field. To sustain the gains of the project, lessons learned and recommendations for its sustainability revolved around five enabling factors: 1) cooperation of the project team members; 2) project orientations in all partner agencies; 3) development and approval of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) among partner agencies and IAs; 4) partner agencies continuous support; and 5) establishment of linkages with and among partner agencies.
- Pre-Implementation Stage. Budgetary requirements and other logistics, including personnel support, are sourced out and defined. Communities are oriented and briefed, and selection of partners and site validation took place. A convergence strategy was also undertaken for a more holistic program implementation and for program participants to be properly identified and validated.
- Conducted Specialized Training Course on PMTs for the Officers of IAs. The program participants, after having attended all the required briefings and signifying commitment and interest in the capacity-building stage, were trained in the production of some PMTs to better prepare them as partners in agricultural development in their area. A total of 24 officers of IAs cum rice farmer were trained on the production of PMTs and how to utilize them in rice production. The training used the PalayCheck system as platform with emphasis on PMTs at PhilRice Agusan for one week. Field trips to farms of progressive rice farmers in Caraga were also done to augment further learning.
- Conducted training on the use of PMTs as facilitated by the Officers of IAs. This is the stage where each IA Officers trained at least 5 member farmers in their association applying or using the technology, knowledge, and skills they acquired from the specialized training course.
- Monitoring and evaluation. This phase comprised the progressive monitoring of the program implementation. Proper documentation and other necessary record keeping were done. Proper feedback mechanism was also implemented during and after monitoring activities. Project implementation mid-review after one and half months of implementation was conducted for proper evaluation of the project.