This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Geographic Information System in Agricultural Project Management
Local Government Unit of Tanauan
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Strategic performance management
To effectively implement the different agricultural projects in the City of Tanauan, the Office of the City Agriculturist is utilizing the Geographic Information System (GIS) in project management. The Office uses a geotagging tool during validation of the area and identification of recipients as part of project identification and monitoring. This was initiated by the City Agriculturist of Tanauan, Mr. Renato M. Cunanan, but was adopted in the existing practice of the Philippine Rural Development Project. This was partially modified by maintaining an own local database and system in the identification and monitoring of projects using the geotagging tool.
Background and Problem
The Geographic Information System in agricultural project management is used to ensure the effective implementation of the different projects of the Office of the City Agriculturist. This is specifically used to validate the actual area of the farmer and to identify the actual recipients. The GIS is also used during the actual monthly visit of the farms as a form of the office monitoring mechanism. One of the problems encountered by the Office is that some of the farmers over declare their farm lot and conducting an actual land measurement of the extension workers as a form of validation is very laborious.
For example, in the Individual farming Project, the Office of the City Agriculturist provides free farm inputs like seeds and fertilizers to the farmer-beneficiaries. If the farmer undeclared his/her area, and the extension worker failed to conduct actual measurement of the farm lot, the farmer will be given excess seeds and fertilizers. If the actual area was validated properly, the excess seeds and fertilizers given to that farmer may still be used in other projects or may still be given to other farmers. Also, in being able to have the right mechanism of transparency and accountability, the Office must ensure that the right project is given to the right beneficiary. For example, there are some cases that the project originally proposed to Farmer A was given to Farmer B because the agency which is the implementer of the project did not ask any proof of identification of Farmer B. To prevent this set – up to happen in any, of the Office of the City Agriculturist projects, a proper mechanism of farmer’s identification must be implemented.
Solution and Impact
The Geographic Information System greatly helps in managing projects and in ensuring the accountability and transparency of the Office of the City Agriculturist. It is a system that encourages the use of ICT in ensuring the effective implementation of the project. The system uses a mobile phone or tablet which is GPS capable and uses different mobile applications in obtaining location information. One of the components of the system is the use of a PROP Geotagging Application which is open-source and can be used for free. The system obtains two pieces of information -one is the validation picture which has an embedded location and the other one is the track. The track is used to see the actual size of the farm.
These two pieces of information are processed on google earth to see the actual location of the farmer and his/her farm. This information is maintained in one database which can be used in other projects. The information obtained through geotagging is then used in deciding the right amount of intervention to be given to the beneficiary. After the intervention is provided to the farmer, monitoring will be conducted by also using the geotagging. This is done to see the updates and improvements of the project. The use of the said system ensures that the right and appropriate intervention by the Office of the City Agriculturist is provided to the right beneficiary of the project. In the long run, the use of this system will help the Office to maintain a database system of farmers with their actual farm lot. When the database is completed, the transparency and accountability mechanism of the Office in every project will be systematized and will be ensured.
The use of GIS was used in the validation of the two offices initiated projects particularly the Individual Farming Project and the Gulayan sa Barangay Project. These two projects obtained a remarkable result as the two projects obtained the qualitative objectives set by the Office for the two projects. The use of GIS also saves 50% in terms of personnel utilization as it only uses one personnel in geotagging compared to a minimum of two personnel in the conduct of manual measurement of the area. As part of the continual improvement, the Office plans to geotag all the farmers’ farm lots in the whole City of Tanauan.