Maximizing the potentials of the Local Farmer Technicians as a potent partner in the delivery of agricultural extension needs of farmers in the region, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office I through the Rice Banner Program conducted a two-day training on Rice Crop Manager (RCM) with emphasis on the Farm and Farm Lot Registration.

Held at the Pangasinan Research and Experiment Center (PREC) in Sual, Pangasinan on April 27-28, 2021, the training also involves representatives of the ten private seed companies who will take part in the establishment of the 100 hectare model farm areas in Pangasinan and in Ilocos Norte.

In her message during the Opening Program, Ms. Analiza Ramos, Rice Banner Program Focal Person in the region noted the relevance of the training especially with the on-set of rice wet cropping season where Pangasinan is expected to establish 5 sites of the 100 hectare model farm and 3 sites in the province of Ilocos Norte.

Ms. Leah Coloma, RCM Focal Person in the region stressed the need to incorporate the RCM in all the Rice Banner Program’s activities with a wider scope of the application covering not only the fertilizer recommendations.

With the seven applications of RCM, Ms. Coloma informed that the technology is now a helpful tool for rice pests monitoring and surveillance, farmer and farm-lot registration, farmer-identification, messenger and advisory services, including a real time reminder of when and how much to apply a fertilizer on a certain enrolled area in particular.

To provide the participants with technical know-how in the operation and usage of the RCM technology, they underwent a hands-on demo using the Garmin hardware, together with the farmer-cooperators and with the guidance of the trainers, they measured the actual area of the proposed 100 hectare techno-demo site to be established at Brgy. Torre 2nd, Mangatarem, Pangasinan.

Meanwhile, with the wider scope of the RCM technology, Ms. Ramos and Ms. Coloma shared optimism that the RCM technology would raise the productivity and income of the farmers by the essential benefits it could provide. The same activity shall be undertaken in all other provinces scheduled on the first week of May.

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